The Sunday Mail
Change your oil
Every car maker has different things to say when it comes to oil, but most experts agree that it’s good to change it out regularly. If you’re confused on what to use, most cars work well with synthetic oil, and it’s usually easier to get your oil replaced at a shop versus doing it yourself. The cost of not doing it: Your car needs oil to lubricate your engine and stop detergents. If your car doesn’t have fresh oil, dirt will build up and eventually kill your engine, which will cost thousands of dollars and your happiness.
Check your tire pressure, always
Incorrect tire pressure can lead to a ton of problems, including poor breaking, instability, less gas mileage, and of course, a flat tire, so check your tire pressure with a gauge. Also, rotate your tires often to make sure that they wear evenly, making sure you get the most before replacing them.
The cost of not doing it: Replacing your tires will cost anywhere from $350 and above, while a tire pressure gauge and rotation cost about $10 and $50, respectively. If your tires need to be rotated, simply take them into a dealer or auto body shop.
Get your brake pads replaced as soon as they wear down
It’s always a good idea to have your brakes checked out every so often by a professional, as a nasty grinding noise can bring an unpleasant worry. A big part of this are the brake pads, which resist loss of brake power at high temperatures and can be replaced by a mechanic if needed.
The cost of not doing it: Neglecting your brake pads will eventually lead to your brake rotors failing, leading to an expensive replacement and at worst, an emergency you don’t want to deal with.
Make sure your mirrors are always good to go.
Having eyes in the back of your head would be the driving advantage, but unfortunately we’re only human and the next best thing we have are mirrors. A good, clean set of front and rear view mirrors can save you from a lot of trouble on the road.
The cost of not doing it: Driving with dirty or no mirrors at all makes you everyone’s least favourite driver on the road, and that’s probably the last thing you want to be.
Maintain your car’s interior
Grime has chemicals that will eat away at things like your leather dashboard or vinyl seats, eventually leading to your car looking like a flithy time machine.
The cost of not doing it: A dirty, unkept interior can lead to you losing hundreds of dollars when you try to resell your car, meaning you’ll have less money towards the dream of something new. Keeping your car’s interior fresh isn’t that big of a commitment, so you should get it over with.
Change out any bad headlight bulbs as soon as you can
Driving home in the dark can turn into an absolute nightmare if one of your headlights isn’t working correctly or showing a very dim light. Most of the time, this is caused by a dead headlight bulb, which can easily be checked and replaced.
The cost of not doing it: You should never consider the risk of driving at night without proper headlights, and you’re also bound to be pulled over with the cops if you try. Generally, replacing a headlight bulb yourself is pretty simple and requires just a few steps and tools.
If you’re going to be away for a bit, make sure your car is covered, clean, and started every so often to keep the battery fresh. If no one’s around to drive or start your car, you can buy a battery tender which stops a discharge.
The cost of not doing it: Not keeping your car properly stored can lead to a dead battery, hurt engine, and even some unpleasant creatures living under your car’s hood. Those rats and spiders won’t help you pay your repair bills if anything happens, so it’s best to store your car the right way.
Don’t cheap out on car insurance, ever!
You might be the best driver in the world, but all it takes is one bad driver to leave you and your car out of action for a long while. Top rated car insurance companies like GEICO, State Farm, Amica, and USAA (if you’re eligible) allow you to stay covered for accidents and repairs, while cheap insurance may not cover all the harm to you, your car, or to other people’s property.
The cost of not doing it: While it’s common sense that you should never drive a car without insurance, you should pay for quality when considering a company to cover your car.
Good insurance can get a bit expensive, but it’s ultimately worth the peace of mind you get knowing you’re covered if anything happens. – buzzfeed.com