Hi I’m Peter, Owner of Northside Automotive, right here in Everton Hills Brisbane.
We all think of auto repair costs as a burden straight from the source. Visiting your mechanic can be expensive and often inconvenient, leaving you without a car. Particularly if we are caught off guard and the car breaks down unexpectedly.
Your local mechanic, Northside Automotive have some top tips for saving you money when it comes to auto repairs, keeping you on the road and avoiding breakdowns.
HAVE YOUR CAR SERVICED REGULARLY
Most cars require a service twice a year. This is to ensure all systems and mechanical parts are working correctly and there is no slow deterioration of certain parts which will lead to need for major auto repairs. You will find that many dealerships like to sell you a fixed price servicing pattern where you have a prepaid service every 12 months. Be aware that a lot can happen in 12 moths, and that the reason they recommend 12 monthly services is because it is cheaper for them, not better for your car.
General car services include:
- Brake system inspection
- Lubrication and Filter changes
- Belt adjustments
- Suspension checks
- Steering component checks
- Engine Flushes
- Fuel system flushes
- Coolant /Cooling system inspections and flushes
- Retightening of noted components to specific torque settings
- Also other vehicle specific requirements
- Lighting and electrical system checks
- Exhaust system checks
- Tyre pressure and wear checks
These preventative services can minimize your risk of being caught off guard when the car suddenly stops mid trip and smokes starts pouring out of the engine bay.
All Northside Automotive include a roadworthy inspection and we will always inform you of any additional faults and repairs your car may require, meaning you have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your car repairs.
While regular servicing may seem like an additional hefty expense, it will more than pay for itself when compared to repairs done after a breakdown, which could involve the replacement of multiple parts and occasionally even the whole engine.
Use a reputable mechanic
It’s always tempting to get the best priced deal, after all money is best kept in your own pocket. But if you come across a mechanic working out of his backyard, charging prices that seem like a dream, you might want to rethink your service and repairs. How do you even know if he is going to be there next week? What type of warranty on parts and service can this mechanic provide you?
We at Northside Automotive have been here for the best part of 12 years, and feel like we are part of the local community. We like to think we provide people with more than just the basics and go out of our way to give you a positive experience.
Reputable, registered mechanics provide you with high standards, quality parts, and the right advice when it comes to the longevity of your car’s road life.
The best way to check if your mechanic is doing a great job is to check their website and social media accounts. Are they online? What are others saying about them. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful when it comes to quality in mechanics and if others are satisfied, you know you’re in good hands.
Learn some basics and do them yourself
Do you know how to check your tyre pressure? Change a tyre? Top up your water and oil levels?
Regularly doing these small tasks will save you money on auto repairs.
For example: regularly checking your tyre pressure and pumping up your tyres will decrease your chances of getting a flat tyre as well as preventing tyre wear.
Did you know that under inflated tyres greatly accelerate tyre wear?
If you are unlucky enough to get a flat, knowing how to change the tyre can save you stress, time and an expense of having to get someone out to assist you, particularly if you do not have roadside assistance.
Checking and topping up your car’s oil levels is also something you can do yourself regularly. By doing this once every few months you can make sure oil isn’t being burnt by the engine, and instead doing its job lubricating the engine parts to keep them running smoothly. Be aware that sometimes topping your car up with too much fuel can be dangerous and that we still recommend you have an oil change done with your regular service.
Don’t ignore warning lights on the dash. At Northside Automotive, if you bring your car in with a warning light, we can tell you whether the car needs to be repaired or not. Sometimes it is just a matter of cancelling the warning on the car’s computer and keeping an eye on the area.
By performing these checks yourself, you will be prompted to have the car checked out if you do notice something isn’t right. Catching the problem early will again save you large amount of repairs costs. If you’re not sure how, ring us, we’ll do our best to teach you.
Use quality petrol
We live in a time of fluctuating petrol prices and it is tempting to pay the least amount for your fuel, especially when it is at a peak price.
However, while saving a few cents seems like the smart thing to do, the quality of the fuel you are using could be causing damage to your engine leading to system failures, breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Did you know that fuel tanks often have water build up and that water is especially attracted to Ethanol? What this means is as time goes by, your fuel tank may be gathering more and more water which is mixing with your fuel and causing long term irreparable damage to your fuel lines and engine.
Using quality fuel products such a premium unleaded instead of E10, could actually be saving your money as they are more efficient.
E10 is a mixture of conventional unleaded petrol and ethanol. E10 means it is 90 per cent petrol and 10 per cent ethanol. This means this fuel burns faster, making it less cost effective.
Ethanol can also damage to the fuel system in older model cars, which are not resigned to operate with Ethanol heavy fuels.
During your regular service we perform a fuel cleaner treatment on your car, helping to remove the excess water build up and keep your car running better, even if you do choose to use E10.
We do this with every service, at no extra charge to you.
Have the car check by a reputable mechanic prior to purchase
Last of all, if you’re thinking of buying a second hand car make sure that the car has a current road worthy certificate and a ‘bluesheet’ you can inspect. Did you now that in Queensland it is a requirement that all cars for sale must have a road worthy completed by the owner and must display the ‘bluesheet’. The seller of the vehicle can cop a fine for not having these available. We don’t recommend you buy the car without one.
If you want to go the extra mile to protect yourself from buying a lemon, take it to your mechanic to give it a once over before you hand over your cash.
The small amount of expense upfront could save you thousands in expensive repairs down the track. Particularly if the car price seems too good to be true.
A mechanic will tell you the types of repairs you’ll be up for in the future and help you make an informed buying decision.
At Northside Auto, we are always happy to answer questions you have about your car, and provide you with the best advice possible.
We offer a range of service options including:
- New Car & Log Book Servicing
- Cooling System & Radiator
- Automatic Transmission Services
- Air Conditioning Repairs & Service
- 4WD & AWD Servicing
- Suspension & Steering
- Mufflers & Exhaust
- Safety Certificates
- Trained Technicians
- Brake & Clutch
- Tyre & Wheel Alignment
- Gearbox & Diff Repairs
We go above and beyond a simple oil change and also provide a range of complimentary additions with every service, including:
- FREE Courtesy car
- FREE Lift to the train or bus station or your nearby workplace
- FREE deodorising treatment with every aircon service
- FREE interior car clean up
- FREE window and tyre clean
So there you have it, our 5 top tips for keeping your auto repair costs at a minimum from your local mechanic. And remember if you want more advice on your auto service or car repairs, Peter is just a phone call away.