The Complete Guide to Owning a Car in Singapore Part 3: 7 Tips to Keep Your Car Servicing Costs Low
Like everything else in life, a little goes a long way. Taking care of an issue before it snowballs into a catastrophe will help in avoiding an eye-watering figure the next time you visit the workshop.
Here are seven ways to keep your car servicing costs low:
1. Changing Your Engine Oil Regularly
The engine oil performs three main functions in your car. Firstly, it keeps all those parts moving at high speed in your engine lubricated which reduces friction and stress on those parts.
Secondly, the engine oil takes away all the impurities that find its way into your engine. And as the impurities build up, it slowly changes the viscosity of the oil. If the oil gets too thick over time, it could cause the engine to seize completely. Lastly, the oil keeps your engine cool which in turn reduces wear and tear within the engine.
Ignoring the car manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule can lead to a hefty repair bill when your engine finally gives up. This is usually coupled with huge labour charges as your engine would most likely need to be removed and rebuilt from within which can run into the thousands.
2. Replacing Your Wiper Blades
A car’s wiper blades are perhaps one of the cheapest items on a car but can potentially result in an expensive repair bill when not immediately replaced.
When a wiper blade reaches the end of its useful life, it can sometimes cause the metal strip embedded within the rubber to become exposed. If you continue to use the wipers with the exposed metal, it can cause deep scratches in your windscreen.
While light surface scratches can be polished out, deep scratches are permanent and cannot be repaired. This means an expensive windscreen replacement that would cost thousands and isn’t covered by your car’s insurance.
3. Keeping Your Tires Inflated
These thick black rings of rubber are the only things that keep your car on the road. So it pays to keep them in tip top condition. Keeping your tires correctly inflated would help them last longer and also prevent them from getting damaged from being under-inflated. Checking them once a week would help ensure they last their average 35,000km service life.
4. Checking Your Car Fluids
Whether you’re a new car owner or a car enthusiast there’s no excuse not to know some basics of checking your car’s fluids (engine oil, wiper fluid and coolant). Don’t be afraid to pop the hood to see where the different fluid reservoirs for your engine oil, coolant and wiper are. If you’re not sure, you can always check your car’s manual for reference.
Most modern cars will prompt you when any of its vital fluids are low and then it’s just a matter of popping by the petrol station and buying the necessary fluids and pouring it in.
5. Changing Your Cabin Air Filter
If you notice your car’s air-con isn’t as chilly as it used to be, it could mean a number of things. If it’s bad, it would mean your compressor is on its last legs or the refrigerant gas needs to be topped up. But if you’re lucky, it could just simply mean that the cabin air filter needs replacing.
Car manufacturers make this a simple process for the car owner. The air filter is usually located under the dashboard (check your owner’s manual to be sure) and is easily changed by popping the old one out and replacing it with a new filter.
You May Be Interested In: Car Owner’s Car Part 2 – The Whole Process to Buying a Car in a Nutshell
6. Replacing Your Car Spark Plugs
The spark plugs are crucial to ensuring the engine is performing at its best. Worn out plugs can result in irregular ignition which could rob your engine of performance and efficiency. Spark plugs should be replaced every 50,000km or 100,000km depending on whether your car uses copper or iridium spark plugs. But it is good to be prepared at the four-fifths mark.
7. Making Technology Work for You
The advent of smartphones has simplified many tasks in our daily life. Having your car’s maintenance schedule right at your fingertips will help ensure you don’t miss any important servicing appointments.
There are tons of apps for both iPhone and Android phone users that help you track everything about your car. VehiCal and Drivvo are two of the best examples. Both apps help you track your fuel economy and maintenance schedule for the different components. You can even keep track of your maintenance history.
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