Long-term Costs of Automobile Maintenance

The cost required to purchase a vehicle is only the initial investment that you are making for your car. Therefore, it is important to understand the long-term costs that come with car ownership to help determine if you are ready for such an investment.

Expenses of car maintenance may surge up to a high once the warranty period for the car is over. According to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA) the average cost of repairs, maintenance and tires are $99 a month for a new year. Maintaining costs may increase each year as your car gets older. It is said that an average American household should set aside 1.5 percent of its annual income (that is $817) a year for two of its vehicles. This cost will differ from one company to another. Luxury cares obviously, have a higher cost of maintenance.

Some of the car parts will require replacement because of the wear and tear caused over time. The longer-life components will not wear that easily but cost a lot more when they have to be replaced. Some of the average costs of these car parts are:

Engine air filters: $35
Brake pads: $80
Headlight bulbs: $10
Alternators: $240
Radiators: $200
Strut assemblies: $365
Catalytic converters $795

With this in mind, it is ideal to always plan ahead for the maintenance costs for your car. There are two types of costs that have to be taken into account while calculating the long-term costs. The preventive maintenance costs and emergency maintenance costs. The costs for both the types of maintenance increases after your warranty period expires. The Preventive maintenance costs refer to the regular check-ins with your local auto repair to shop to ensure that your car is in good shape. Here, the components of your car will be checked, tires changed/adjusted if necessary, air checked etc. This maintenance will help avoid emergency breakdowns.

However, emergency costs will happen. This cannot be planned ahead. Small accidents occur even during every day driving. We may not be able to avoid this. Because of this, it is necessary to set aside money for a rainy day. Keep the replacements costs for your car parts in mind and plan this ahead of time as well. This will not only make things easier for you but also help you reduce the costs spent on car maintenance.


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