Buying a new car is exciting but also takes a large chunk out of your budget. A brand new car will depreciate by approximately 25% during the first year after purchase. Further to this, fuel prices continue rising and insurance and maintenance costs are on the increase. Combat pricey maintenance costs by following these top ten tips:
Read and understand your owner’s manual and adhere to the regular prescribed service maintenance schedules – check brakes, tyres, and transmission fluid and replace when necessary. Schedule additional services if needed to prevent unnecessary and expensive repairs.
Prevent a costly engine replacement which can vary between R28,000 and R180,000 depending on the engine’s age, technology, and complexity, by changing your oil and oil filter as prescribed in the manufacturer’s handbook. Over time, oil accumulates impurities that cause engine damage or ultimately failure.
Avoid costly engine part replacement and maintain peak performance by changing the air filters every 20,000km or once a year.
Ensure your car’s engine lasts for its predicted lifespan by using the oil type and brand specified in the manufacturer’s handbook that best suits your car.
Prevent unnecessary expensive paint jobs by caring for your car’s exterior. When new, wash and polish less frequently because this can dull the shine. When you do wash, use quality products that won’t damage the paintwork or leave smears.
Select an appropriate motor insurance policy to prevent having to pay high repair costs should your vehicle be involved in an accident.
Read the Kinsey AA report while budgeting for a new car. It helps you understand the costs of replacing car components, as well as which cars are more expensive to maintain than others. Car parts have shown an astounding escalation between 2017 and 2019, for example, the basket of parts for the entry level Datsun GO increased from R44,372 in 2017 to R63,310 during 2019.
Never exceed speed limits as this leads to component stress and excessive wear and tear due to persistent red-lining, hard braking, and fast turns.
File service receipts and related information to keep a record of the work that has been done on your car, so that you don’t go ahead with unnecessary repairs. This also increases your cars residual value should you wish to sell it.