Owning an automobile comes with a number of responsibilities. You need to keep them clean and in tiptop condition. Whether you live in the city or the countryside, having a car or its semblance is required to make going from point A to point B an ease.
Everyone who owns a car can attest to the fact that keeping one is not the most financially pleasing choices. They may help you cut transportation costs and give you more freedom when it comes to traveling, but they are bothersome, wheRn they are starting to age.
That is why when taking into account the costs of owning a car, other factors aside from the car payment alone should be considered, such as:
- The cost of gas
- Toll fees
- Car insurance
- Routine maintenance
The cost of gas and toll fees depend on how frequently you use your car. Car insurance fees depend on the insurance plan that you have. Routine maintenance and repairs, however, are essential expenditures when it comes to owning a car. According to a study by AAA, the average cost of a single car’s routine maintenance and repairs is 1,186 dollars per year. Budgeting for both is important because you might render your ride useless without adequate maintenance or required repair.
What are the most common car repairs?
1. Spark plug replacement
Albeit small, a broken spark plug can cause a mountain of problems for you. Spark plugs function to ignite the fuel in your engine to start your car. If your car’s spark plug fails, it will not be possible to use your car because—well—it will not start. The good thing is that spark plugs are not expensive. They can be done by you if you have the knowledge.
Just keep in mind that if the spark plug is installed incorrectly, it can cause damage to your car, which will open up to more expenses for you. Having a professional install the spark plug makes sure that no problems will arise from the replacement. The typical amount you will need to shell out for this repair is between 16 and 150 dollars.
2. Oil changes
Experts suggest having your car undergo an oil change every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. The frequency of oil changes will depend hugely on how much and how often you drive. If you do not drive enough in a year to reach the recommended mileage, it is recommended to turn your car in for an oil change every 12 months to keep it running smoothly. Standard oil changes can cost between 25 and 50 dollars.
As oil keeps your car running, it is also good to keep your head gasket—the gasket that keeps your car’s oil where it should be—checked. A leak in this component can cause total engine failure—something you will not want for your car. Reaching out to head gasket leak experts can help you make sure that this component works the way it should.
3. Windshield wiper replacement
Windshield wipers are essential to keeping you aware of your surroundings while driving. They are especially functional during rainy days. Keeping them in good condition will keep you free from small to potentially lethal problems in the future. They cost between 55 and 88 dollars on average.
4. Battery replacement
Your car’s battery is its hear. Without the battery working the way it should, your car will not even start. According to experts, car batteries should be replaced every three years or depending on factors such as if your vehicle is consistently exposed to extreme heat, cold, or both. Your car’s battery may also need replacement if you do not use it for a long time. The replacement can cost around 60 to 200 dollars, varying depending on your car make and model.
5. Brake pad replacement
A tricky routine part of owning a car is figuring out when to have your brake pads checked for replacement. The reason behind it being tricky is that it depends on how often you use your breaks—you probably will not be able to take this into account when using your car. But a good metric is to replace it more frequently depending on where you spend most of your time driving. If you drive mainly inside cities, you may need to have your brake pads replaced more often. But if you drive in rural areas and freeways, you may need fewer brake pad replacements.
Another way to examine your car for brake pad replacement is to listen for screeching sounds when using your brakes. For newer vehicles, there will be an indicator light that will inform the driver of the brake pad status. Depending on the car model and your location, brake pad replacements cost an average of 241 dollars.
Owning a car is not cheap, but this cannot compare to the ease of navigation it provides. Preparing for maintenance and repairs is the answer, along with not abusing your ride’s capabilities. That is if you want it to last long.