Cars are everywhere. And with almost 6 million cars sold annually in the United States, they’ve become our primary means of transportation. But cars are expensive, so it makes sense that you’d want to save a little bit of money by skipping an oil change or two. Unfortunately, skimping on routine maintenance costs could cost you big-time later on. Here are just a few ways that spending money on regular car maintenance can save you a lot more later on.

Prevent Catastrophic Repairs

When you invest the necessary time and money into performing routine maintenance on your car, you don’t have to worry about the possibility of something going catastrophically wrong. Performing routine maintenance means that you’re keeping a close eye on the condition of your vehicle. If something starts to go wrong, your routine checks will reveal it before it has a chance to do any major damage. If you neglect routine maintenance activities, you could be facing a catastrophic failure in your vehicle and the price tag that comes with it. An oil change every 3,000 miles or so might seem unnecessary, but it could make all the difference in the world when it comes to saving money on vehicle upkeep.

Extend the Life of Your Vehicle

If you’re a car owner, odds are you already know just how expensive cars can be. In fact, when people learn about how an AC Cobra Coupe once reached 186 mph on a British motorway in 1964, they’re typically willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for one of their own. Case in point, even regular cars are expensive! When you neglect to perform routine maintenance tasks on your vehicle, you’re risking the possibility of having to purchase an entirely new car for yourself. Aside from higher upfront costs, you may also be looking at higher insurance premiums and other fees with a newer vehicle. When you can keep an old car running like new with a few simple maintenance tasks every few months or so, it’s simple to see the benefits of routine auto work.

Better Gas Mileage

It might not seem like changing out your windshield wipers or checking your oil every now and again can help improve your car’s gas mileage. But the truth is that all of those little tasks add up to help your car perform better. And when your car is running well, it’s less likely to guzzle gas while you’re on the road. When you skip oil changes, neglect to check on your tires, and forego other maintenance tasks, you’re making your car work harder to get you from point A to point B. As a result, you’re using more gas and ultimately hurting your car’s ability to perform properly. If you don’t notice it right away, you’ll definitely notice when you have to start getting gas twice weekly just to get to work and back home.

Prevent Roadside Repairs

Did you know that windshield wipers were invented in 1903 to help clear debris from car windows? They’ve evolved into extremely helpful tools that allow us to drive when it’s raining or snowing without compromising visibility. But if you forget to change your windshield wipers and one of them stops working while you’re on the road, you’re going to be out of luck and probably footing the bill for towing services. The same principle rings true for any kind of auto maintenance. If you don’t want to get stuck with a roadside emergency bill, it’s better to keep up with regular tune-ups.

If you’re not sure what kind of regular maintenance activities you need to be performing on your vehicle, here are a few key tasks to start with:

  • Oil changes and checks
  • Wiper blade replacement
  • Tire rotation and air pressure checks
  • Battery checks
  • Brake replacement
  • Air filter replacement
  • Hose and belt checks

When you spend a little bit of time and money to keep up with routine car maintenance, you’ll be saving yourself a lot more in the long run. These are just a few of the many ways it pays to invest in preventive maintenance.