What Is the Average Cost of Car Maintenance?
When planning for the purchase of a vehicle, you’ll most certainly be included in the cost of petrol, tolls, and auto insurance. When determining the real cost of owning a vehicle, don’t forget to include the expense of regular auto maintenance.
While it is unlikely to be at the top of your priority list when planning your transportation budget, routine car maintenance is essential for the health and longevity of your vehicle. It may help you prevent expensive repairs in the future (and paying for a rental while your car is in the shop).
Here’s an estimate of the usual automobile maintenance cost, including how much each repair item should cost and how often you should get these services performed.
While the average yearly cost of automobile ownership varies from $6,354 for a compact sedan to $10,054 for a pickup truck, the projected cost of basic maintenance may surprise you. According to AAA, normal maintenance and repairs on a new automobile might cost an average of $0.09 per mile.
If you drive 10,000 miles in a year, you’ll spend $900. If you drive 20,000 miles per year, that amount rises to $1,800. That is why it is critical to budget for these costs.
Each year, you should plan to assess the following things for possible maintenance:
Replacement of windshield wipers
Replacement of brake pads
Tire replacement or rotation
Check your owner’s handbook to see what sort of regular maintenance is required for your individual vehicle.
Of course, don’t forget to pay attention to the small signs your automobile gives you when anything may require care. Squeaking brakes, unusual engine sounds, and a blinking check engine light are all indicators that your automobile needs to be repaired.
Change of Oil
Most contemporary automobiles should have their oil changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, according to experts, however older vehicles may need more regular replacements. The frequency with which you must do this regular maintenance item is determined by how much and how far you travel.
Even if you do not exceed the minimum mileage requirement, you should get your car’s oil changed every 12 months to maintain it in good operating condition.
Oil changes should cost between $25 and $55. The use of synthetic oil may raise the cost to between $45 and $75.
Windshield Wiper Repair
Nothing is more frustrating than driving on a wet day and discovering that your car’s windshield wipers no longer perform as effectively as they should. As a result, you should replace your wipers every six to twelve months, or as soon as you detect any difficulties.
Wiper replacement will most likely cost less than $85 if labor is included. You may save up to $25 if you purchase the blades and install them yourself.
Your car’s battery should be changed every three to five years, but this timeline is affected by external variables such as whether your vehicle is exposed to high heat or cold, or if you leave your car unused for an extended length of time.
If you routinely keep your car’s interior lights on, your battery will deplete.
The cost of replacing your car’s battery ranges from $60 to $200, depending on the make and model, the quality of the battery purchased, and your location.
Replacement of Brake Pads
This portion of basic maintenance is a little difficult in terms of timeframe. The frequency with which you should change your brake pads is determined by how often you utilize your brakes. It may, for example, be determined by how many city miles you drive vs how many highway miles you travel.
In general, city drivers will need to change their brake pads sooner than those who travel predominantly on highways or in rural regions.
There will be many indicators that you need to replace your brake pads. First, when you press the brakes, your automobile may create a screeching sound. If you have a newer vehicle, the indicator light will illuminate, indicating that it is time to contact your local auto servicer.
Brake pads typically cost between $35 and $150 for all four wheels; when labor is included in, the cost rises to $115 to $270 per axel. The overall cost depends on your location, the model and year of your automobile, the kind of brake pads you use, and whether you need to replace the pads on both axles or just one.
Tire Rotation or Replacement
Did you know that having your car’s tires overly worn (to a tread depth of 4/32 inches) will increase your stopping distance by 87 feet on wet highways?
If your tire treads have reached that depth, you should replace them.
If you require a more specific time frame, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises replacing your tires every six years, regardless of how far you’ve travelled.
12 Depending on the condition of the tires and the kind of vehicle, replacing all four tires might cost between $400 and $1,800.
Another essential maintenance item is tire rotation. It should be performed every 5,000 to 8,000 miles and costs between $35 and $45, however some technicians or dealers give it for free when other repairs are performed on your vehicle. Keep in mind that you’ll need to conduct tire balancing and alignment on your car on a regular basis to extend the life of your tires.
Saving Money on Automobile Maintenance
When it comes to the expense of regular auto maintenance, you may be thinking how you may (safely) cut corners. The good news is that there are various strategies to save automobile costs.
While it may be tempting to take your automobile to the dealer for periodic maintenance, it is not necessarily the most cost-effective option. Shop around for the greatest deals on these necessary maintenance goods, and keep an eye out for discounts.
When having your vehicle maintained or repaired, AAA provides a list of authorized auto repair facilities so you can be confident you’re dealing with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified specialists.
If you’re handy, you could try handling some of your own auto maintenance. For example, you may replace the oil and filter on your automobile at home to save money on these normal maintenance items.
Whatever you do, remember to include the typical cost of auto maintenance in your yearly budget to help you plan and save.