It is such a chore to maintain your car. It is very much like brushing your teeth or going to the gym: You know it is good for you. Intellectually, you will never deny it. But emotionally, you deny it all the time. Just because it is good for you and necessary does not mean you want to do it.

But there is one reason to take your car in for maintenance that is often overlooked, and that is the money it saves you. This is somewhat unintuitive though; how can taking your car in and regularly paying to get it fixed end up saving you money? That is a good question. But there is a simple answer.

Irregular Maintenance Costs You Money

Look at it from the opposite point of view. Imagine you have a car (probably pretty easy to imagine). It costs you $100 a month to keep it in good shape. $10 for oil change, $10 for air filter change, $10 for this, $10 for that ($10 is a made-up number, obviously, good luck finding a $10 oil change).

The point is, if you pay $100 a month for maintenance, then what happens if you just stop getting maintenance? What happens if your car goes three months without maintenance? How much will you end up paying for those three months of letting nature slowly reclaim your car’s machinery?

It is easiest to see these effects through the oil change. You do not have to get an oil change every month unless you drive a ton, but if you neglect an oil change then it is not just your oil that will be worn down by it. The oil helps keep the whole vehicle from breaking down. A lack of oil means parts grinding together.

This means that not only will you have to pay to get the oil changed, but you will eventually have to pay for whatever parts need replacing due to the delayed oil change.

Your Car is Like a Body, and Your Body is a Temple

When one part of your car fails, the car does not just immediately break down (most of the time). Instead, what will usually happen is that the car will try to go on functioning without the part. Whether that part is a gasket, piston ring, fuel hose, or anything else, the car does not know to stop just because it is missing something.

For this reason, think of your car like a body that cannot feel pain. It does not know when it is living beyond its means. You have to do that for it. If you take care of your car, it will be healthy. But if you do not, then its “organs” will start to shut off, with each one becoming harder to replace and maintain than the last.

Regular maintenance can help prevent this. In the process, you will save money. How much money? Well, how much is your car worth? How much money does having a car make you? How much will you lose without it? These are all questions to consider when thinking about regular maintenance.