Oh boy! Is the ‘Check Engine light‘ back on? Didn’t you just have that checked out? Your car is getting to that age, isn’t it? The engine hums a little more, the suspension wobbles a little more – you hate to admit it, but every time you take your aging beater to the shop the same thought tickles the back of your mind: is it time for a replacement? We’ve all asked ourselves this question before. Perhaps it would be helpful to have a basic understanding of what a car service typically costs.
How much does car maintenance cost? The cost of a car service is between €250–€800 — depending on the make, model, and how old the car is. The price also varies from workshop to workshop. We recommend having your car inspected by a workshop every one to two years in order to spot small faults early on before they grow into big and expensive problems.
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In the following paragraphs, we will give you more useful information on when, how, and, above all, how much you should pay for car maintenance. So be sure to read to the end!
Does a New Car Make Sense?
Spending over €400 a year on maintenance and repairs may sound like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to the additional expense of buying a new car, especially when your current car is paid off. It’s been estimated that every five years you drive your car after paying it off, you save the equivalent of a new car.
To understand this, let’s compare a new car to a paid-off car with regular maintenance. To make things interesting, let’s assume you drive 15,000 kilometers a year — twice the national average. In five years you’ll have 120,000 km under your wheels, which corresponds to 35 to 40 oil changes. At €40 per change, you come to €1,400–€1,600 — let’s say an average of €1,500. Calculate another €2,200 for various maintenance work (filters, hoses, tire changes, etc.) and another €1,500 for some major repairs such as a new timing belt, new brakes, and shock absorbers. If you add that up, you get €5,200, so about €1,040 per year.
Let’s compare that to a new car. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the average price of a new car sold in Germany in 2020 was €36,300. But let’s say you found a good deal for €32,000 and financed €28,000 at 7% interest for 48 months. This results in a monthly payment of just under €624, which corresponds to €7,490 Euros per year.
In other words, for the cost of a new car for a year, you could own a paid-off car for five years, drive it to the ground, and still have money left over, without worrying about how much car maintenance costs.
Why is Car Maintenance Important?
Maintaining a vehicle is important because it prevents major problems, major repairs, and even dangerous failures in the long run. For example, neglecting to change the oil can lead to major engine problems, and worn tires or brakes are a major safety hazard. Also, your car will depreciate faster if you don’t take care of it, which means it’s worthless if you decide to sell it.
After all, a vehicle in good condition is essential for commuting to work, picking up the kids from school, and having a social life. We’ve put together a shortlist of important maintenance tasks so you know exactly what to look out for when you bring your car into the workshop.
5 Tips for Car Maintenance
- Have your car inspected regularly. A trained inspection team can diagnose problems with your car and recommend fixes that you may not have noticed. An experienced mechanic can use a diagnostic tool to inspect car parts without disassembling your vehicle.
- Get your engine and brakes checked routinely. Your engine is arguably the most important part of your car and should be checked to ensure it is in good shape. Brake fluid should also be checked for safety, and pedals should be cleaned to prevent malfunction.
- Make sure your car is weatherproof. Your tires may need to be refilled or replaced in order to drive safely in the snow. Ask your mechanic to check your air conditioning to see if it needs repairing or cleaning. It’s also important to have the transmission and exhaust checked to avoid overheating at any time of the year.
- Have your oil changed regularly. Some experts recommend doing this every three months, but some vehicles last longer. Regardless, it’s a vital aspect of how much does car maintenance cost. Check the oil level regularly, read the owner’s manual to see w an oil change is needed, and don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Your car needs clean oil to run smoothly!
- Pay attention to the little things too. If you have noticed that your wipers leave streaks, have them replaced. Have the windshield and windows cleaned so you can see clearly from your vehicle? You may also need to have your headlights and brake lights cleaned so you can see well at night or when it’s raining. All this can add up when it comes to determining how much car maintenance cost.
Consult Your Auto Mechanic for Regular Car Maintenance and To Know How Much Does Car Maintenance Cost
Repairing your own car can be costly, difficult to manage and can result in major damage if done by untrained hands. Also, you don’t want to endanger yourself or others by driving a car that isn’t in good shape, right?. It is best to contact a qualified auto mechanic for the regular maintenance of your vehicle. A printed maintenance schedule should be included with your car’s owner’s manual, and you can check with your dealer’s service department to ensure scheduled maintenance is completed.
Your mechanic should be able to inspect and analyze your vehicle to fix any problems and prevent future problems. A professional mechanic can get your car back in shape in no time. Plus, they’re usually able to give you a rough idea of how much car maintenance costs.
A Diagnostic App Can Help
Diagnostic devices and apps can help you to identify errors in your car at an early stage and, if necessary, to rectify them immediately. The diagnostic apps in particular are very practical because they can be used from anywhere and nowadays you always have your cell phone with you anyway. They can also help you predict upcoming bills if you’re worried about how much car maintenance costs.
With the Carly Universal OBD Scanner and Carly app, you can read out error codes and also get a detailed explanation of the specific error. Often, as long as the problem is not too big, you can fix it yourself with detailed instructions.
Carly also offers many other useful features such as the used car check, with which you can uncover odometer manipulation, the digital garage, where you can save all vehicle data, or the coding function, where you can customize your car as you wish.
The Carly Universal OBD Scanner, which you need to read and use the app, costs around €60. The prices for the app vary between €20–€80 — depending on which car you drive.
With a total outlay of just €100, you can practically diagnose and analyze your car yourself and then save yourself some costs in the workshop, since the mechanic does not have to diagnose the car separately. Also, you can’t be ripped off because you know exactly what needs to be fixed.