Whether you own a family-friendly sedan or a sporty coupe, routine vehicle maintenance is a must, as regular service keeps cars and trucks running smoothly and helps you spot minor problems before they leave you stranded. If you plan to get routine maintenance done at a local auto dealership, here are four ways to save money without skimping on your ongoing maintenance needs.
1. Check your owner's manual. Your owner's manual contains a list of services that should be performed at specific mileage intervals. Following this recommended maintenance schedule can help you avoid having maintenance services performed more often than necessary, saving you money.
2. Take advantage of package deals. Many auto dealerships offer package deals and coupons to reduce the cost of routine maintenance. Many coupons give you a flat discount off the regular price of a service offered by the dealer. Some coupons take a percentage off the total cost of parts or labor. Package deals can help you save money by bundling several services together at a price that is cheaper than what you would pay if you purchased the services individually. For example, a dealership might offer a maintenance package that includes an oil change, tire rotation, and car wash.
3. Ask for an estimate. If you are concerned that your vehicle needs a lot of maintenance at one time, ask your service adviser to prepare an estimate. An estimate details the work to be done and how much it is expected to cost. Your estimate should also break down the total cost so that you can see how much it will cost for labor and how much it will cost for parts. When the estimate is ready, ask your service adviser to help you prioritize the list of needed services. If one item is urgent and the others can wait until you have more money available, get the urgent maintenance done immediately and schedule the other items for a later date.
4. Buy a pre-paid maintenance plan. Some manufacturers offer pre-paid maintenance plans that can be bundled with your auto loan. Instead of paying for maintenance every time you visit the dealership, you pay just a few dollars per month as part of your loan payment, eliminating the need to come up with a large amount of money when your vehicle needs service. Just keep in mind that pre-paid plans only cover routine service, not the replacement or repair of wear-and-tear items. For example, if you get a flat tire, your maintenance plan will not cover the cost of a new tire.
No matter what type of vehicle you own, routine maintenance is essential for identifying issues that could put your safety at risk. Following these tips can help you save money while ensuring that your car gets the maintenance it needs. Contact a Nissan dealership or other dealership in your area to learn more.