How to save money on your car and avoid being scammed by your Mechanic

BY DUMEBI ONYEMAECHI

Mechanics have the knowledge and technical know how to rip you off your hard earned cash but how can you avoid being Scammed by your mechanic? It is important for everyone that drives a car to know how to diagnose simple car faults before going to see their mechanic.

The truth is a good mechanic is worth their weight in gold, and having a good relationship with a honest one will save you money in the long run.

One way of saving yourself is to read up your car manual (which, if missing, can be found online). They made your car, they made the book, they know what it needs and every manufacturer will lay out a schedule of maintenance based on the odometer reading.

So before you pour a fortune into the gas tank and every other section of your car, take note of all the ways you could get Scammed by your mechanic.

Oil Changes

The guys who make the oil say change it every 3,000 miles, the guys who make the oil filter say every 5,000 miles, but the car manufacturer might say don’t do it until 10,000 miles. Check the manual. Engine Oil produced these days are of higher quality, and combined with an oil filter that weeds out contaminants, it lasts much longer.

Fluid Flushes

Transmission, air conditioning, coolant are more often than not, a huge waste of perfectly good fluids and money. A lot of dealers push this as required maintenance. There’s however a big different between an oil change and an oil flush. There is no advantage to spending the extra money for a fluid flush.

Premium Fuel

Using premium fuel in a lot of cases is another waste of money, especially regarding basic cars, both domestic and European. An Audi or Lexus. Some manufacturers will recommend premium fuel, but not require it. To be on the safe side, try a tank full of Premium fuel and see if you notice a difference. If not, you’re wasting money.

Spark Plugs

you may have read that it is recommended you have your spark plugs replaced every 50,000 miles. Again, check the back of your manual. Most modern manufacturers recommend changing spark plugs every 100,000 miles.

No Cost Maintenance

Whether you wanna keep things nice for when you bring your car to your mechanic or you just cannot afford a breakdown on your way to an important event, you don’t need to spend a dime having someone else check your fluid levels.

The manufacturers have gone to lengths to colour code them so they’re easy to find. Here’s a quick guide to checking a couple major ones.

Engine Oil

Park the car on level ground.

Shift into Neutral or Park.

Turn the engine off.

Wait 5 minutes.

Wipe dipstick with paper towel, reinsert.

Remove to check level.

Transmission

Park the car on level ground.

Leave the engine running.

Repeat with transmission fluid dipstick as above.

The Truth About Tyres

Well-maintained tyres not only improve your gas mileage, but also they wear out less frequently, saving you lots of money in the long run.

A leaky tyre could blow on the highway. A blown tire could mean replacing an expensive damaged rim. Remember to regularly check your tyres.Here’s how.

Checking Your Tyre Pressure

The correct tyre pressure for your car should be in the driver’s doorjamb by law.

Avoid inflation g them to the ‘max air pressure’ number molded into the tyre sidewall. If you notice one of your tyres appears low, fill it to the pressure listed in the doorjamb and keep an eye on it.

If the next time you check the same tire is low again, see a vulcaniser. It will be less expensive (and safer) to plug a nail hole than to replace a tyre ruined by driving on it while flat.

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