We all know that we should keep up with our car’s maintenance needs. But it can be a hassle to always have our car in and out of the shop! It’s tempting to just keep driving, to just keep pushing our car to go further and further between maintenance trips.
That’s not a good idea, though – as you’ll find out when your car comes down with a more serious problem and leaves you car-less for a while. Instead, use these tips to make car maintenance a little easier.
Minor Care Avoids Major Problems
The first and most important way to keep maintenance convenient is simply to do it often. A quick oil change or tire rotation while you wait isn’t nearly as inconvenient as giving up your car for days at a time to get a fix for an issue that could have been prevented by regular oil changes and tire rotations!
Take the long view on your car’s maintenance, and realize that small sacrifices now can mean a much more reliable (and convenient) car later on.
Make a Schedule
One of the annoying things about car maintenance is that everything always feels a little last-minute. One moment you’re driving along, and the next, you realize you’re already overdue for an oil change. And, now that you think about it, you have no idea when the last time was that you changed the other fluids (and wait, how often do those even need to be changed, and how many of those fluids are there?).
You can prevent this feeling by making a maintenance schedule ahead of time. It’s not hard to do, either – you can find plenty of starter lists online. Leaf through your owner’s manual and note special requirements (a certain type of oil, things you have to get done at the dealership to preserve your warranty, etc.) and to tweak the schedule to match your vehicle’s needs.
Get a Trusted Mechanic
That maintenance schedule you just made is your friend. Your mechanic should be your friend, too! Try out a few mechanics and pick one that you truly trust, and go back to them for all of your maintenance and repair needs. Just as your doctor keeps records for you, your mechanic will keep them for your car. He or she can help you tweak the maintenance schedule you made in the last step, and you’ll likely also get phone call or email reminders when your car is due for maintenance. Having a good relationship with your mechanic can make scheduling maintenance easier and getting it done less stressful.
Offset the Inconvenience of Major Repairs
When you put your car in for routine maintenance, it’s usually not a big deal – sometimes, it can even be done while you wait. But bigger jobs can take a few days, leaving you without your car!
If juggling the family cars or carpooling with friends stresses you out, consider investing in your own convenience. Rent a car for a few days, or rely on a car service like MGCLS to get you to and from work and other commitments. Car repairs can be stressful enough without all of the travel woes, so think about whether or not it’s worth it to you to just splurge a bit and get your transportation covered by a professional. And if your big job is scheduled ahead of time, things like renting a car will be easier. If your car is in for repairs after an accident or other unexpected problem, call your car insurance company – you may find that they’re willing to cover the cost of a rental.