What is the True Cost of Not Maintaining my Car?
April 4th, 2017
Updated May 18th, 2017
Fairfax, Virginia - It's amazing how quickly time can fly, especially when you think about keeping track of your regular car maintenance appointments. Before you know it, you may go 6 or 8 months without getting an oil change, and it won't even feel like it's been three weeks. Some people inadvertently neglect to take their vehicles into the shop for routine maintenance due to this strange "time warp" phenomenon, while others skip out on getting certain services done due to budget limitations.
While it may not completely destroy your vehicle if you skip a service every once in a blue moon, keep in mind that the laws of entropy are hard at work when it comes to the natural wear and tear that comes with logging regular miles. In fact, poorly maintained vehicles can often be a hazard on the road; according to research published by Car Care Council, more than $2 billion in damages is recorded every year due to accidents resulting from neglected or unperformed vehicle maintenance. While not every missed maintenance appointment will result in a car accident, the long-term damage that skipping routine maintenance can inflict on your car can significantly reduce the lifespan of your vehicle. Below are some of the most common routine vehicle maintenance items, along with their potential financial impact if they are neglected.
Oil lubricates the different parts of your engine, keeping them from sustaining unnecessary wear due to excessive friction. On a typical maintenance schedule, one year's worth of oil changes will run you about $120, a small sum compared to the cost of an engine replacement due to damages from infrequent oil changes. The price tag for that kind of job will leave your pockets about $4,000 lighter.
Keeping your tires rotated will ensure that they receive an even distribution of wear and tear, prolonging the life of all four tires. If you stick to the usual schedule of rotating your tires every 7,500 miles, your tire rotation bill will run you about $50 a pop. Failure to maintain this regular schedule means getting your tires replaced much sooner than you would like, which will relieve your bank account of anywhere between $350 to over $700.
Timing Belt Replacement
This has to happen eventually, especially for high-mileage cars. While replacing the timing belt is not cheap (roughly $600), it beats the heck out of having to repair the engine as a result of a broken timing belt (about $2,500).
Maintaining an annual brake inspection schedule will keep your brake pads and shoes from sustaining any excessive wear or damage. If you don't commit to bringing your car in for regular pad and shoe replacements (roughly $150-$250), you could end up spending up to $600 getting your rotors or drums replaced once your pads and shoes have been completely chewed up.
When you consider the potential costs of neglecting to get routine maintenance performed on your car, it only makes sense to bring your vehicle in and get on a regular service schedule. Your car--and your wallet--will thank you for it in the long run.
*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.
Copyright Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto April 2017