Preventive Maintenance Saves Car Owners Money

Bring your vehicle to Morristown's Shade Tree Garage for all your preventive auto maintenance.With the cost of many items rising in the U.S., it’s important for most to find ways of saving money. Often times, car owners will forgo preventive maintenance in an effort to keep monthly expenditures at a minimum. But is this prudent? When it comes to preventive maintenance, do you think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” This age-old statement means, “If something is working adequately well, leave it alone.” But, is this a statement we can apply to our vehicles, especially when safety and reliability are at stake? What would you say if I told you preventive maintenance not only keeps you safer, but it can save you money in the long-run?

To understand its importance, it’s helpful to know what preventive maintenance is and what it is meant to accomplish. Preventive maintenance is a step that is taken to keep an automobile operating efficiently and is performed before a vehicle breaks down or is in dire need of repair. Preventive maintenance includes services like periodic fluid and filter changes, tune-ups, and regular inspections to check on the level of wear and tear in certain components, like brakes and tires.

Auto repairs resulting from breakdowns are usually unexpected and unplanned expenses.  They’re also typically fairly costly.  It’s not always easy to budget for these repairs, but with preventive maintenance, you can plan your expenses and extend the life of your vehicle.  Let me illustrate this for you –

Illustration #1 – It’s wise to rotate your tires every 3,000 to 6,000 miles.  This can easily be done when you bring your vehicle in for routine oil and filter changes and costs just a few dollars extra to have done. Regular tire rotations allow your tires to evenly distribute tire wear – helping you get the most miles out of your tires while maximizing traction on all four wheels. Now, if you skip tire rotations, your tires are going to wear unevenly. That means you’ll have to replace them sooner and they won’t give you the traction you need for safe driving. You’ll also void any warranty you may have on the tires. The cost for a pair of new tires (yes, you must replace them in a pair) is at least $160.

Illustration #2 – Brake pads should be replaced when you have about 1/8” left on them (when you bring your vehicle to Shade Tree Garage, we’ll let you know when your brakes are approaching that thickness and should be replaced). The average cost for a brake job (changing only brake pads) is about $250. Now let’s assume you decided to skip having those pads replaced. What will the cost for a brake job be? First, and foremost, you risk not being able to stop your vehicle. I’m pretty sure you and I are alike in that we don’t want to risk our lives or the lives of others by driving with bad brakes. After that comes the fact that a brake pad that is severely worn can leave deep marks and grooves in the brake rotor. Depending on how deep the grooves are, the rotors would need to be either “turned” or replaced. Now, the cost for a brake job can start at $425 and go up depending on the type of vehicle.  Which would you rather pay?

What are the benefits of preventative maintenance?

  1. Reduced Repair Costs – Over the long run, the cost of preventive maintenance is far less than the costs and inconveniences associated with break downs and expensive repair bills.
  2. Improved Gas Mileage – By doing simple preventive maintenance procedures like properly inflating car tires, passing emissions tests, getting a basic tune-up and changing the fuel filter, you should expect to see up to a 10% increase in gas mileage.
  3. Breakdowns Minimized – No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road because their car breaks down.  By checking fluid levels and having oil and filter changes performed on a regular basis, the number of unexpected break downs will be reduced.  It’s also important to remember to perform maintenance on brakes, transmissions, power steering, air filters, radiators, belts, etc.
  4. Increased Passenger Safety – By properly maintaining a vehicle, the incidence of dangerous mechanical failures is reduced.

As an independent auto repair shop located in Morristown, NJ, Shade Tree Garage is the car owner’s best advocate for safety and preventive maintenance.  With each visit to our shop, we perform a courtesy 27-Point Safety Inspection on your vehicle.  This allows us to alert you to maintenance issues before they become costly repair problems.  We also keep a detailed record of all the work performed so you will know when your vehicle is due for a specific type of service.  Click here to schedule your next preventive maintenance appointment with Shade Tree Garage.

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