For those on tight budgets, skipping routine car maintenance services may be tempting, but it will cost you plenty down the road.
If you don't maintain your car, a vehicle that might have been driven for 200,000 miles will likely last only 100,000 miles.
Then there are the costly repairs for turning a blind eye to maintenance: bad brakes, failed emissions tests and maybe even a failed engine.
Regular oil changes help keep your engine clean and lubricated, says Deanna Sclar, author of "Auto Repair for Dummies."
"Oil cuts down on the friction that can literally wear away the parts of the engine," she says. "One of the most important maintenance-related things you can do is change your oil frequently."
The recommended two oil changes per year cost about $60, while the cost of engine replacement can easily exceed $5,000.
An annual brake inspection allows us to spot wear before it gets dangerous and costly. Replacing brake pad and shoes costs as little as $99 per axle, while replacing rotors or drums can add several hundred dollars for NO reason!
Timing belt replacement at the manufacturer's suggested interval can save big bucks. If the timing belt fails, the engine can stall resulting in a big towing bill. Replacing a timing belt costs about $450, while repairing the engine following a timing-belt failure could run about $5,000.
Regular maintenance will cost a fraction of one major repair, a small price to pay to stay safe and to increase your vehicle's life span.
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