car maintenanceWhat you don’t know won’t hurt you… but it will hurt your bank account!
By Tristan Lal

Did anybody else decide to buy their car because it came in a perfect shiny red metallic colour rather than a particular make or model? Or maybe you bought it because your sisters, boyfriends, uncles said it was a good make?
If you have found yourself with a car you know nothing about but still hold very dear to yourself then this article is for you.

Here’s the deal, whether you paid 20 000 plus for a new car or 5000 for a better, it’s money out of your pocket to get the most out of it.

Here are some helpful tips to help save money on your car:

Get dirty at home:

Don’t be afraid to get in there and do it yourself, stay on top of your liquid levels, this means checking your oil, checking your windshield wiper fluids, even changing your own air filter. While these things may seem like a daunting task for some of us (I know I was guilty of this) you will find a quick stop at the auto repair shop or even your local hardware shop will provide you with all the necessary top-ups you need. And don’t be afraid to ask for some advice. If your not sure where to put your win shield wiper fluid or how much oil to put in, you can be sure that someone will give you a hand. And the good news is, it will only take one lesson to learn how easy it really is. The main lesson here is, while some tasks seem too big to handle most top-ups can be done in under 10 minutes but will cost you a hell of a lot more if you pay someone else to do it for you.

Compare:

If you find in need of some replacement parts, don’t stop at the first place you go to. Look online, sites like AutoWharehouse and Auto Barn may provide significantly cheaper parts than your local repair shop. It is worth your time to look around and compare prices before getting talked into unnecessary upgrades for double the money. Plus online we don’t have salesmen pressuring us to make an immediate purchase, so take your time, browse the web, that way when you visit the shop you’re prepared and you know a little bit more about pricing.

Keep it clean:

This might seem quite obvious, but when you decide to sell, a clean car might put a little extra cash in your pocket. Remember, if you bought your car because it came in the colour you wanted, you can bet you are on-selling it to a buyer with the same thought as you. This is of course if it is, in fact, the same colour as when you bought it. Leaving dirt and settled dust on your exterior is undoubtedly not good for your paint. Just as grape juice and ketchup stains are damaging to the interior. So save your paint, and save the upholstery be willing to pay for a professional cleaning every few months. Shop around for this as well; don’t expect to pay anything over $300 but for a proper clean you should be looking at a cost around $100-$150 for both the interior and exterior. It seems like a lot to spend just for cleaning but a professional detail every so often will keep your car fresh for a lifetime.

Take care of your car like you would yourself, feed it (keep it fuelled up), hydrate it, (stay on top your liquids), get some exercise (you bought it, make sure you drive it!), bathe it and take it to the doctors every so often. If you stay on top of these simple jobs you can be sure to save yourself an arm and a leg in the long run.

Tristan Lal is a freelance writer and Public Relations professional. You can contact her on Twitter.