Our day-to-day life is already pretty stressful as a single mom. The last thing we need is to have to worry about maintaining our vehicle as well. However, if you don’t take care of your car and get it checked regularly, you could be putting yourself and your family in danger. The good news is that there are many ways for us single moms to keep up with vehicle maintenance, especially on a budget.
Here are some tips for us single moms to maintain our vehicle, even on a budget:
Keep the interior clean
The reality of living with a messy car is that it’s not just the vehicle that suffers. The interior of your vehicle will get dirty and dingy, making it an uncomfortable experience for you and anyone else who rides in it (and kinda embarrassing). To keep your car clean from top to bottom, you can use a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth (but let’s face it- we need both!)
If you choose to go with the vacuum cleaner method:
- Use a handheld or go to the gas station or car wash and use the strong one there
- Go over all surfaces inside your car with long strokes until they’re completely clean!
Keep your wheels looking good
Keeping your tires looking good isn’t just about aesthetics — it’s also a safety issue. If you have bald or cracked tires, they can cause your car to slip and skid on the road. Avoid this by keeping your tires inflated adequately and cleaning them regularly with a tire cleaner (most local auto shops will do this for you). You should also check for cracks or other signs of damage in the rubber itself.
If you want to give them some extra protection against the elements, consider installing wheel covers that can protect them from getting dirty when driving through puddles and snow. The same goes for wheel rims: if they’re exposed to rain or other precipitation too often (like salt on winter road trips), they’ll start rusting around the edges—which won’t only make them look bad but could also cause damage underfoot while driving.
Fix minor problems yourself
Many things can go wrong with a car, but you don’t need to pay someone else to fix everything. Sometimes the problem is minor and easily fixed on your own (or with some help from Google and YouTube!)
For example, if your door won’t open because there’s something stuck in it, try using something long and thin like an old credit card or pen to remove whatever’s blocking the mechanism. Or maybe there’s a leaky hose that needs replacing—you’ll save money by doing that yourself.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to learn more about how cars work, fixing minor problems yourself will be a great learning experience. You might discover that there’s nothing wrong with your car at all; maybe it just doesn’t run smoothly because of an oil change or tire rotation maintenance issue.
Get a good mechanic you can trust and visit them regularly
When it comes to maintaining your vehicle on a budget, one of the easiest ways to save money is by finding a great mechanic. This can be a challenge in itself, but if you find someone who knows what they’re doing and has always treated you right in the past, then you should keep them around!
Get advice from your mechanic on how to make your car last longer. Then ask him for referrals so you can find someone else he recommends or contact more mechanics that might be able to help with the problem at hand. If necessary, ask them directly for assistance with your vehicle—they may even give it away.
Don’t get pricey or unnecessary upgrades
When it comes to vehicle upgrades and repairs, you want to make sure you spend your money wisely. Some things may be more critical than others for your specific needs. For example, if you have a large family or need to haul lots of stuff around town, having enough legroom and cargo space might be the most essential consideration for upgrading your car. However, if gas mileage is a big concern for you, having an engine with better fuel efficiency would be more advantageous in the long run.
Similarly, if you’re a car enthusiast, you may experience falling into the temptation of buying every new car part and upgrade that comes out. For example, let’s say you’re looking to buy Ford F150 accessories for your beloved truck. There’s a plethora of them on the market, starting from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. But, let’s be real- it’s best to avoid fancy parts and stick to what’s truly important.
However, if you’re just looking to get from point A to point B with a vehicle that works, there are only a few things you need to consider upgrading first, like regular, everyday stuff (windshield wipes, oil changes, air filters and tires).
We know it’s not easy to maintain a vehicle when you’re a single mom on a budget. But with these tips, we hope that you’ll be able to keep your car in great shape and get the most out of it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed—your friends, family members or neighbors (we love ours!) will likely be happy to lend a hand!