Cars are expensive. We all know that. For the vast majority of us, they’re going to be the second most expensive thing we pay for, outside of where we live. As such, finding ways to cut those costs is only expected and, sometimes, a wise idea. However, there are some costs that you should make sure that you do not skimp on. Here, we’re going to look at the costs you shouldn’t try to go too low on, and what might happen if you do.
Before we get to all of the parts of the car and the actual components that require a little extra investment to make sure that you’re getting the quality (and thus the on-road safety) that you need, let’s talk about one expense that doesn’t affect your drive or safety on road, but can very much affect your eventual costs. Make sure that you’re getting what you need from your policy. For instance, if your car is more likely to be damaged in an accident due to the roads where you live or there is a serious risk of it being stolen at some point, comprehensive cover can make sure that you’re not footing the bill yourself. Carefully compare auto insurance quotes out there and make the choice that best suits your need.
Now, when it comes to the car parts that you need to make sure that you’re investing in the most, there are none more important than your tires. First of all, different road conditions may demand different tires and one set might not be enough to keep you safe all year round. Outside of seasonal changes, your tires are where your cars meet the road. As such, they control the traction of the vehicle, how well you can stay in control, and so on. The best car tires are the very least that your car deserves. Otherwise, your car can end up becoming slippery more easily, and ill-fitting tires can also affect other systems in the car, such as the suspension.
Your brake pads
Your brakes are, of course, important in every single component. They each play a vital role in helping slow your car and bring it to a stop. However, brake pads are the parts that are most likely to need to be replaced first and will need to be replaced most often. When you try to skimp on them, you can usually end up with brake pads that don’t fit your car properly. This can cause them to wear more quickly or, even worse, to not properly apply to the tires, which means you don’t get as much stopping power as you should. Of course, you should make sure that any brake pads you get are of OEM quality or higher, as well.
Your car battery is not only going to make sure that you have the power to operate your lights, windows, locks, windscreen wipers, and all the electronic systems inside the car. Your car isn’t going to start without a battery. As such, you should make sure it’s an investment you’re willing to take seriously. Car batteries tend to need to be replaced before a lot of other components, and choosing the right battery is important. You should make sure that you’re willing to pay for the brand of battery as laid out in your vehicle owner’s manual and to make sure that you buy one that is of the appropriate size to work with your vehicle, as well.
Your routine maintenance
All too often, car owners are more than willing to only visit their local garage if there is something specific they notice that is wrong with their vehicle. Otherwise, they might never visit. However, routine maintenance is crucial for a variety of reasons. For one, it helps find any issues that you might not be aware of, fixing them before they become a bigger deal and, perhaps more importantly before they become a lot more expensive to deal with. However, routine maintenance tends to be laid out by your logbook, and not keeping up with that can cause a severe dent in the resale value that your car maintains when it comes time to sell it to a new owner.
If you’re willing and able to do a little more yourself when it comes to routine maintenance and replacing car parts, then you need to make sure that you’re taking time to invest in the right tools. Skimping on your car tools could see them breaking on you well before their time, meaning that you have to spend more to replace them. This can be especially frustrating if you’re unable to complete a repair or a replacement because your tool broke on you. Maintaining your tools and ensuring they are stored correctly is just as important as buying tools, as well. Corrosion can wear away at the best tools, wearing them down until they become useless.
Keep your car looking good
It might sound like it’s relatively unimportant compared to the other expenses above. However, keeping your car presentable or, at the very least, keeping its appearance from deteriorating is important. Especially when it comes to reselling your car. If you’re looking to fight the ever-looming specter of depreciation then you need to work to keep the car in good condition. While keeping things running under the hood is, of course, vital, you should also recognize that many people are going to want to buy a car based on how it looks, inside and outside, when they’re directly in front of it. As such, make sure that you’re working to maintain your vehicle’s appearance, as well.
Remember, your car is both a highly valuable asset and also plays the primary role in keeping you safe on the road. Give it the investment that it needs, only cutting what costs aren’t going to affect your safety and security.