How Much Should I Budget Per Year For Car Maintenance?

When it comes to setting a yearly budget, it’s important to cover all the bases, so that you won’t find yourself coming up short at the end of the year. For many households, the cost of owning and maintaining a car is one of the most vital parts of daily life, but it can be difficult to come up with an estimate. So how much should you budget per year for car maintenance? The short (and frustrating) answer is simple: it depends.


Routine Tune-Ups

The two most important check ups for a healthy car are the oil change and tire change visits. In general, you should get your car’s oil and filter changed every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, while the tires should be changed every 3,000 to 7,000 miles.


The cost of an oil and filter change varies depending on the type of car you drive and the brand or type of oil you prefer. In general, however, the average cost is between 20 and 100 dollars. A tire rotation is a little bit cheaper, and generally costs between 20 and 50 dollars.


Routine Replacements

Routine replacements make up the issues that we all hope we won’t have to deal with: new tires, new wiper blades, new engine air filters, and new brake pads. These are usually less regular than the routine checkups, but it’s still important to factor their costs into your budget.


Your tires should be replaced whenever the old tires are worn down and can cost between 50 and 100 dollars per tire. Wiper blades should be replaced about once a year and cost between 7 and 15 dollars. Engine air filters should be replaced every 20,000-60,000 miles and cost between 20 and 75 dollars, while brake pads should be replaced every 30,000 and 50,000 miles and cost between 100 and 350 dollars.


Other Considerations

The main factor that plays a part in your maintenance cost is the schedule you and your car keep. If you drive long distances on a regular basis, you may have to budget for tire replacements or rotations more regularly than someone who drives once a week and takes the subway the rest of the time.


Similarly, the age of your car can play a huge role. In general, the older your car is, the more often it should be inspected to make sure that it’s safe to drive. Ultimately, how much car maintenance costs is highly dependent on your schedule, the wear and tear you put on your car, the age of the car, and other factors that influence how hard you and your car work.


Your car is a major part of your life, and its maintenance and upkeep can be a major factor in your budget for the year. While there may not be a simple, one-size-fits-all answer, including car maintenance in your budget can make all the difference when it comes to handling any problems with confidence and peace of mind.



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