It may feel like an added cost, but a car checkup has more pros than cons.
Here are the most important reasons to get a car checkup:
1. It helps protect your vehicle’s value
The value of your car decreases the moment you drive it home.
After a year, it would have dropped its value by 20%.
If you plan to re-sell your car in the future or you wish to use it for a longer time, you have to keep it in good shape.
Your vehicle is a depreciating asset. It’s never worth as much tomorrow as it is now. But then, even if your car is old, you still can get some money once you decide to sell it.
Performing regular checkups help prevent excessive wear and tear, which protects your car’s value. Potential buyers will know that you treated your vehicle with respect. Therefore, they are more likely to pay it a good price.
2. Enhance your car performance
There are several ways to increase the performance of your car – some you can do on your own, others would have to be handled by a mechanic. These include tuning up your car engine, changing oil and fluids, and installing custom wheels.
Your trusted mechanic may also recommend increasing compression to amp your engine’s horsepower, changing spark plugs, replacing ignition system components, and using synthetic motor oils for better lubrication.
3. It keeps you safe
Perhaps the biggest reason why you should get a car checkup is peace of mind.
Whether you are only having short trips around the city or embarking on a three-day road trip, you want to make sure that your car is properly tuned up.
The most common mechanical problems that often lead to car accidents are:
- Tire problems
- Brake failures
- Burned-out lights
- Steering and suspension issues
- Faulty windshield wipers
It’s appalling to realize how these simple, inexpensive repairs could have saved lives and property had they been done right away.
4. Winter-proof your car
Driving in the winter is not fun. It’s stressful and potentially dangerous.
Before the temp in your area drops, consider having your car serviced.
Your mechanic will most likely change your vehicle tires to winter tires, install winter wipers, check the battery (poor battery life can cause hard “start” problems in the morning), and ensure that your rear-window defroster is working properly.
5. Regular car checkups can save you thousands of dollars on major repairs
Routine maintenance costs around $100, depending on the checkup performed.
It’s way, way cheaper than major repairs, which can cost you thousands of dollars.
According to a study by travel-services giant AAA, car owners shell out $500 to $600 on average for major repairs. At times, you’d spend $3,000, maybe more.
Car routine checks let you see issues before they get worse. Mechanics may find minor problems (such as low-level engine oil) and fix them right away, saving you both from hefty expenses and roadside emergencies.
6. How Often Should You Get Your Car Checked?
The AAA recommends following the recommended maintenance schedule provided by your automaker, which you can find in the user’s manual.
Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you should have your tires changed or realigned.
Generally, safety checks should be done every 3-6 months, depending on how often you drive your car.
Of course, if you sense that there’s a problem, bring your car to the mechanic as soon as possible.
It also pays to have some basic knowledge about car maintenance. Things like checking your wipers, brakes, fluid levels, and tire condition worth learning. Not only are these checks fairly easy, but they are also life-saving.
Look for a reliable mechanic who will not only prevent or fix problems but will also educate you on how you can keep your car in top shape.
In general, car checkups include:
- Oil change
- Windshield wiper replacement
- New battery
- Brake pad replacement
- Tire rotation or replacement
According to AAA, car checks cost around $1,186 per year. It’s important to set aside a budget for this.
You may feel like it’s a big expense, but it’s significantly smaller compared to the cost of major repairs. Also, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your car will take you to and from your destination safely and comfortably.