Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Family Car Fund: How to Keep up on Repairs and Maintenance

If you want your vehicle to last for as long as possible, then you need to make sure that it remains well-maintained at all times. You should also take care of minor mechanical issues before they escalate into serious problems. With the proper maintenance and a good mechanic by your side, your vehicle is going to work perfectly for many years to come.

Establish a Maintenance Schedule

Every vehicle is slightly different, and you should carefully read your owner’s manual before carrying out any maintenance. That being said, many car manufacturers and mechanics suggest the 30/60/90 rule. With this schedule, you carry out most of your maintenance tasks every 30,000, 60,000, or 90,000 miles. A comprehensive maintenance schedule will greatly reduce your risk of a catastrophic breakdown.

Set up an Emergency Fund

Most accidents should be covered by your insurance policy, but filing a claim for a minor issue could impact your monthly premiums. For smaller problems, you might want to have an emergency car fund. That rainy day fund should be able to cover common problems such as small windshield cracks, flat tires, and broken windshield wiper blades. Before you dip into your emergency fund, you can reread your insurance policy to see exactly what is covered.

Double-Check Your Policy

Your auto insurance policy is going to be your first line of defense against a wide variety of expensive problems. If you are ever in an accident, then your policy will help you cover replacement parts and might cover auto body repair. Following an accident, you must make sure that you contact your insurance provider right away. Most insurance companies have strict rules regarding how quickly claims must be filed, and you might not receive compensation if you miss that window.

Read through Your Warranty

Purchasing an extended warranty for a used car probably won’t be a wise financial decision, but a basic factory warranty could be invaluable in the coming years. Most factory warranties cover any damage that is the result of defective materials or shoddy workmanship. Bumper to bumper warranties are slightly more expensive, but those agreements typically cover any problems with a vehicle’s powertrain or electrical system.

While you might be able to carry out some basic maintenance tasks on your own, major mechanical projects should be left to the professionals. When it comes to your vehicle’s reliability and your family’s safety, you must always err on the side of caution.

Tim Esterdahl

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