In a report shared by PBS Network, car problems are among the most common and stressful financial setbacks people experience. A single problem with a car can immediately use up a significant portion of (or even completely wipe out) people’s savings, while spawning other costly inconveniences as well.
Therefore, the advice of financial experts is for first-time car owners to always set aside money in their monthly budget for potential car troubles. It’s not enough to merely use leftover money; you need to actively assign a specific amount to set aside regularly for building a car emergency fund.
Aside from creating an emergency fund for a frequently used vehicle, it is likewise helpful to be thoroughly organized with maintenance. Auto experts in Dubai say that performing proper car maintenance can help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run. Thus, car owners should always remind themselves that observing proper car care is generally more affordable than making replacements and repairs.
If you are a first-time car owner, it will serve you well to heed such pieces of advice, as well as the six other tips provided below.
1. Take the time to learn the standard upkeep requirements of your vehicle.
Staying on top of a car’s maintenance needs has actually become so much easier to do now that most car manufacturers provide buyers with an owner’s passport. This passport lists the various maintenance requirements of the car in the first five years of its use. Not only that, but it also offers information on the ideal times to carry out car care requirements.
Therefore, go through the owner’s passport to figure out all the vehicle maintenance needs and schedule when to carry them out. Typically, the following are some of the reasons you need to bring your car to the service center for:
- To change the oil and other fluids
- To check the tires’ pressure and tread before getting them rotated
- To clean the air filter
- To check the batteries and clean ports
- To check the brakes and pads
2. Make a list of the car care and cleaning services you want done.
Aside from maintenance needs, it’s smart to make adequate preparations for car cleaning services as well because it’s always good to have and use a presentable vehicle. For example, if you have purchased an SUV for your family to use, you may want to schedule car care and detailing at least once every year. This deep cleaning service is considered a must for family cars which are quite prone to getting all banged up and incredibly dirty.
Car detailing will clean and restore the original appearance and smell of your vehicle. It will get rid of clutter, stains, and other types of build-up in your vehicle. Additionally, it will polish the body to regain shine, erase scratches, and add a new layer of protection to the paintwork. It includes maintenance under the hood, too. This way, there will be no debris and gunk around the engine and all its components that can compromise their functionality.
Another service that you may want to add to your budget and schedule is wheel rim restoration. In Dubai, this is a highly in-demand service, particularly for high-end vehicles, to preserve aesthetic and market values.
3. Stay on top of warranties.
Every new purchase of a vehicle comes with warranties. You can avoid costly services (replacements, in particular) by using these warranties. A significant advantage you stand to enjoy from this is that when you use your warranties, you can be assured that genuine brand replacements will be used, and brand specialists will be working on your vehicle.
That being said, go through the different warranties you received when you purchased your car and do your best to understand the extent of the work and replacements they cover so you can fully use them to your benefit.
4. Stay updated with your service center’s deals and promotions.
Even if you don’t have financial woes, it would still be quite beneficial to find ways of reducing the cost of car maintenance. One of the best ways to do this is by staying updated on your car service center’s deals and promotions.
Competitive businesses always have these, so make it a habit to check them out to see which services are timely based on your car’s requirements. It’s good to be flexible to take advantage of provisions that your vehicle can benefit from. This can yield surprising benefits, such as catching small issues that may develop into irreparable damages.
5. Join a loyalty program.
Another vital business strategy that a lot of car service centers employ is a loyalty program. Consider tapping into this provision if your car center offers it.
If your car comes from a luxury maker, you have a lot to gain from the loyalty program of specialist car centers. Aside from the usual discounts for program members, you may also be entitled to unique privileges such as priority booking, special waiting areas, exclusive services, and freebies. Through loyalty programs, a lot of customers find performing maintenance tasks for their vehicles less of a hassle.
6. Learn the right driving behaviors.
It’s rather typical for first-time car owners to still lack exceptional skill when it comes to the use of their vehicle. They might, for example, rest their left leg on the brake, place their hand on the gear stick, forget to turn off the AC first before turning off the engine, forget to be careful with speed bumps, and others. These driving behaviors can affect vehicles and lead to the accelerated wear and tear of car parts, increasing the risk of accidents.
That being said, caring for a car is not just about taking it for timely maintenance and repair services. It also includes improving your driving style. Thus, assess your driving style to see if there are movements and techniques that you can improve to prevent damage to your vehicle, and conscientiously work on them to fine-tune your driving behavior.
Car maintenance requirements can be quite overwhelming and tricky to stay on top of for first-time car owners. This is why they are more likely to encounter all kinds of vehicle woes that are expensive to resolve. With the tips shared here, even if you’re a first-time car owner, you can avoid running into a lot of these problems, and you can preserve your vehicle for a long time, plus save money on maintenance responsibilities.
Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.