Buying a car is a very big investment one makes after saving up for several years. Whether you own your very first car, a second-hand car, or the latest model fresh out of the showroom, you will develop an emotional bond to your car. But it is even more important to protect your investment by taking good care of your car.
All Cars Need Regular Maintenance
One of the best ways of doing this is to ensure regular maintenance of your car. For many people, especially first-time car owners, the problem is to identify how to best care for their car and how often to take it to the repair shop. These problems are not really as big as they seem and with a little common sense and discipline you can ensure that your car gets the care that is deserves.
Planning is the Key
The first thing you need to do is to design a Maintenance plan for your car. This is not really that difficult and you certainly do not need to be an automotive engineer to make this plan. What you do need to do is take out that owner’s manual that came with your car and read it from cover to cover. This will be time well spent. The manual will guide you about the things that you need to take care of in your maintenance plan, and how often. Everything from an oil change to wheel alignment and air filters is explained in detail in the manual. In your maintenance plan, you simply need to list down these tasks and the recommended time when they should be performed. Then all you need is a little bit of discipline to stay committed to this schedule. This won’t be a problem if you really love your car.
Find a Reliable Professional
Once you have your plan ready, you need to find a professional you can rely on when your car needs repair which you are not qualified to handle. This usually means finding a reliable car repair shop. We have all heard stories of how some unscrupulous repair shops suggest repairs and maintenance your car really doesn’t need. To avoid getting taken for a ride by such people, the best way is to choose a repair shop by talking to your dealer. Yes, this is going to be expensive but you will most likely end up with a service provider that is qualified and has trained staff to take care of your car. The authorized dealer for your particular car will be well-stocked with parts and you will have to keep your car at the shop for the least possible time. Another option is to go by word of mouth. Talk to your friends or colleagues and they will likely know a competent, efficient and honest repair professional whom you can trust.
What you most certainly need to avoid is waiting for your car to break down first before you go around desperately looking for a repair shop. You are more likely to end up getting fleeced right then. Being prepared is the best defence against such losses.