Vehicle Maintenance - What Your Budget Should Include?

Now that you’ve bought the car, and have the budget for its ever-increasing fuel and car insurance, it's time to draw one for its vehicle maintenance plan. After all, for the vehicle to run like the car dealership dream, it needs to be maintained and well looked after.

While vehicle maintenance is nothing glamorous, it is a necessity to ensure longevity, dependability and long-lasting. Just like babies that cry when hungry or need a change, cars will make a noise, leak and break down when a visit to a service centre is due.

The best way to avoid a hole in your pocket is to put money aside every month for those unexpected breakdowns. But remember, vehicle maintenance costs will vary according to the vehicle model and the needs of the vehicle.

What Should Your Vehicle Maintenance Budget Include?

As a rule of thumb, your vehicle should be serviced regularly and on the manufacturer’s recommendations at least every 10 000 to 15 000km. While for older models and used cars, it could be as high as 30 000kms. Whether it's a minor or major service, the maintenance will depend on the upkeep of the vehicle and its use, whether it's for personal use or private use.

For example, an entry-level car (i.e. Datsun Go, Polo, or Ford Figo) will not cost the same as an executive vehicle such as an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes Benz. You could spend between R1500 and R2500 for a minor and major service and this includes labour and vehicle parts.

While with executive vehicles you could part with R3500 for major services and R1800 for minor services.

These Services Include The Following:

  • Wheel Alignment - align your wheels for longer-lasting tyres.

  • Brake Pads - check and listen to brake pads and discs for excessive wear and tear.

  • Change Oil and Filter - check and change your oil regularly to ensure a longer-lasting engine. This can be done during regular fuel refill intervals.

  • Leaks - oil or water leaks are indicators that something is wrong and closer attention is needed. Inspect your vehicle regularly.

  • Coolant - check that the correct temperature is maintained and that an anti-freezer is used as well.

  • Radiator - ensure the fan is working to cool off and regulate temperature and avoid overheating.

  • Battery - this is the power source of the car and when flat it will not start. Ensure that it is checked regularly.

  • Lights - check that all your vehicle lights are working properly and bulbs are regularly changed.

By having your car regularly checked, you can detect problems earlier keeping your maintenance expenses very low. In turn, a well maintained and serviced vehicle carries a higher resale value. And it is more fuel-efficient.

Always use reputable and professional service centres like Auto Pedigree. We provide minor and major services on all engines, cooling and heating systems, undercarriage, clutch and much more to all brands and models.