Owning a Car in SG (3): 6 Tips to Lower Car Servicing Costs
Like everything else in life, a little goes a long way. Taking care of an issue before it snowballs into a catastrophe will help in avoiding an eye-watering figure the next time you visit the workshop.
Here are seven ways to keep your car servicing costs low:
1. Changing Your Engine Oil Regularly
The engine oil performs three main functions in your car. Firstly, it keeps all those parts moving at high speed in your engine lubricated which reduces friction and stress on those parts.
Secondly, the engine oil takes away all the impurities that find its way into your engine. As the impurities build up, it slowly changes the viscosity of the oil. If the oil gets too thick over time, it could cause the engine to seize completely. Lastly, the oil keeps your engine cool which in turn reduces wear and tear within the engine.
Ignoring the car manufacturer’s recommended oil change schedule can lead to a hefty repair bill when your engine finally gives up. This is usually coupled with huge labour charges as your engine would most likely need to be removed and rebuilt from within which can run into the thousands. There are two types of oil, synthetic and non-Synthetic. You should aim to change your oil before reaching 5,000 km so as to prolong your car engine life. Price range: $15-$25/1qt/946ml (Oil)
2. Replacing Your Wiper Blades
A car’s wiper blades are perhaps one of the cheapest items on a car but can potentially result in an expensive repair bill when not immediately replaced.
When a wiper blade reaches the end of its useful life, it can sometimes cause the metal strip embedded within the rubber to become exposed. If you continue to use the wipers with the exposed metal, it can cause deep scratches in your windscreen.
While light surface scratches can be polished out, deep scratches are permanent and cannot be repaired. This means an expensive windscreen replacement that would cost thousands and may not be covered by your car insurance.
3. Keeping Your Tires Inflated
Other than the engine, your car tires are exposed to extensive wear and tear when the car is on the road. It is important to make sure all four tires have the right tire pressure to ensure they last. Having worn out tires can also endanger the driver and passengers. A simple trick to extend the lifespan of your tires is by swapping the front tires with the rear tires every few months. This will ensure an even degradation on all four tires since the braking tires typically wear out faster.
Keeping your tires correctly inflated would help them last longer and also prevent them from getting damaged from being under-inflated. Checking them once a week would help ensure they last their average 35,000km service life.
4. Checking Your Car Fluids
Whether you’re a new car owner or a car enthusiast, there’s no excuse not to know some basics, for example how to check your car’s fluids (engine oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant). Don’t be afraid to pop the hood to see where the different fluid reservoirs are. If you’re not sure, you can always check your car’s manual for reference.
Most modern cars will prompt you when any of its vital fluids are low and then it’s just a matter of popping by the petrol station and buying the necessary fluids and pouring it in.
5. Changing Your Cabin Air Filter
Singapore remains hot throughout the year, so most car owners here use their air-con extensively compared to drivers in other countries. If you notice your car’s air-con isn’t as chilly as it used to be, it could mean a number of things. If it’s bad, it would mean your compressor is on its last legs or the refrigerant gas needs to be topped up. But if you’re lucky, it could just simply mean that the cabin air filter needs replacing.
It is important to re-oil or even replace your air filter every 10,000 km of mileage. This is especially so if you go on road trips to Malaysia with your car as the air might be not as clean as Singapore’s air. Failure to clean the air filter not only cause your car to overheat, it can also be bad for your health.
Car manufacturers make this a simple process for the car owner. The air filter is usually located under the dashboard (check your owner’s manual to be sure) and is easily changed by popping the old one out and replacing it with a new filter.
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6. Replacing Your Car Spark Plugs
The spark plugs are crucial to ensuring the engine is performing at its best. Worn out plugs can result in irregular ignition which could rob your engine of performance and efficiency. Spark plugs should be replaced every 20,000km or 50,000km depending on whether your car uses copper or iridium spark plugs. But it is good to be prepared at the four-fifths mark.
Price range: $60-$200 per 4 spark plugs
Owning a car in Singapore can be an expensive affair. Thus, finding small ways to save more on related car cost can add up to a substantial amount. Remember to compare your car insurance quotes and click here to find out more ways DirectAsia allows you to customise your car insurance to only pay for what you need. Get a happier car insurance at www.directasia.com/car-insurance.