Affordable Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car on the Road

As part of our effort to make sure your car is safe without hurting your wallet, RelayRides blogger Amanda L. Grossman shares simple and cheap maintenance tips.

It took me awhile to find a wonderful mechanic whom I could trust. But once I did, it made all the difference. Not only was he reasonably priced, but he took the time to explain things to me about my vehicle, to go over common issues that can creep up, and to talk about some preventative maintenance.

One of the best pieces of advice my mechanic ever gave me was when he said that the costly repair bills that everyone complains about come from not taking the time to conduct simple maintenance on your car when there appears to be nothing wrong with it.

I know I’m guilty of that!

It used to be that so long as my car was road-ready and appeared to be fine, I would not dare step foot into a car mechanic shop or to lift the hood and spend a few minutes rummaging around. I am happy to report that I am now a reformed car owner, and take the time to perform some simple, affordable maintenance.

Instead of leaving your own car’s future up to chance, check out the following simple, preventative maintenance tips from AAA that you and/or your mechanic can complete:

Check the Fluids

Just like you and I need fluids to survive, so does your vehicle. Other than oil, be sure to check for windshield wiper fluid, engine coolant level (specifically if your car is running warmer than usual, as indicated on your dashboard temperature gauge), brake fluid, transmission fluid (specifically if there is any issue or delay in shifting gears) and power steering fluid (specifically if steering your vehicle has become more difficult to do).

Have Your Battery Tested

The life of a battery is typically between 3-5 years. If yours has been around awhile, then be sure to have it tested by a professional in order to verify that it is still going to serve you well.

Check for Proper Tire Inflation

Purchasing a tire gauge (under $5) and periodically checking the pressure of your tires can thwart many issues for your vehicle as well as keep your gas efficiency at its peak. Manufacturer recommended pressures can be found in your owner’s manual or in one of these areas. To ensure your tires last longer, you should opt for a tire rotation on your next oil change.

Check Your Lights

Take the time to do a perimeter check with the help of someone else to ensure that your headlights, taillights, turning signal lights, and brake lights are all working properly.

Feel Safe with 24/7 Roadside Assistance

You don’t need to worry about any of the issues above when you rent your car from RelayRides, as not only are there milage and age requirements for what vehicles can be in the marketplace, but there is 24/7 Roadside Assistance free of charge in the event something happens during a rental. For times when you are driving your own vehicle, be sure to check with your car insurance company to see if they offer any free roadside assistance programs.