Maintenance Tips for First-Time Car Owners

Owning your first car is often both exciting and stressful — exciting for the sense of freedom that comes with it and stressful for the major responsibility. The process of buying it can be an ordeal, and when you get the keys, you may just want to hit the road and leave all care behind. You still need to consider a few more things, however, before packing up for your first solo road trip.

Find a Reliable Mechanic

While there are benefits to taking your vehicle to a dealership for repairs, you’ll save a lot of money if you find a good, reliable neighborhood mechanic, especially for regular maintenance. Local shops have lower labor rates and often charge less for parts, so you can save money when you need anything from an oil change to new power transmission bearings. Ask friends and family who live nearby for recommendations so you end up with someone you trust. Do research before something goes wrong with your car. That way, if something does come up, you’ll have a plan and less to worry about.

Keep Up With Maintenance

You may be tempted to delay regular servicing in order to save money, but this is a mistake that could cost you much more in the future. It’s important to keep up with scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes, as advised so that your car continues to run smoothly. Keep records of every time you take your vehicle into the shop so you know exactly when certain parts were updated and can stick to the recommended schedule. If you have an automotive technician you trust, then follow advice concerning things such as brake pads, transmission fluid and air filters.

Think of automotive maintenance as you would preventive medical care. You need to eat well, exercise and have regular check-ups to make sure your body is working as it should. Your car also needs regular care to avoid serious, expensive issues down the line.