Car maintenance can really add up, but there are ways to keep the costs down. Here are some tips on how to save money on car maintenance.
Owning a car can really add up. There are the regular expenses like car washes and gas, but it gets really expensive when a car breaks down. Many of these expensive issues can be avoided or at least put off for a long time if you just keep up on maintenance. The problem is this maintenance can be a budget-burner itself. Regardless of cost, you will really regret not keeping up on basic car maintenance when your car needs more expensive repairs. Here are some tips on how to save money on car maintenance so you can make your car costs more budget friendly.
How to Save Money on Car Maintenance
Do some of the maintenance yourself – Many basic car repairs like oil changes aren't hard to do. With a few inexpensive tools, you can do it yourself for far less than the local oil and lube spot. YouTube has so many certified mechanics showing how to do basic car maintenance that just about anyone can do it these days if you have the patience. Your car manual will have information specific to your car as well. Get a friend to help you to avoid frustration and make sure you dispose of the oil properly.
Look for coupons before you go – If DIY is not your thing, why not see if you can get coupons for your local lube place? Many times, these are still sent the old fashioned way, in circulars and junk mail. Before you toss them, look for coupons for your local oil spot. I have also found coupons on the backs of grocery receipts. You can also find coupons for chain oil and lube brands at their websites. Most will accept coupons if you show them your phone. I once saved $15 this way!
Compare costs of different oil and lube places – There is so much competition in this arena and you can tap into great savings as a consumer because of this. It's great if you find a place you like, but once in a while, branch out and see if their competitors are offering a better deal. You may even be able to get the same deal at your favorite spot too.
Try regular fuel instead of premium – Most cars, especially older ones, can run just fine if you use the lower grade fuel. There's usually no need to buy premium or even super for the majority of the cars on the road because older engines can adjust.
Get a local guy – Find a local mechanic and get a relationship going with them. Not only will you have the benefit of someone knowing your particular car inside out, but they will often be willing to take payments, lower prices, offer deals, and sell parts for cheaper.
Use all the benefits of your local oil and lube spot – Because there is so much competition, many oil and lube spots now offer extras like fluid top offs. Very few people take advantage of this though. If you have a car that is leaky like I do, the cost of keeping up on the fluids is something we factor into the price when choosing an oil and lube spot. One place we went through even topped off the more expensive fluids like differential fluid and transmission in between visits.
Buy your own parts and have them installed – If you can, purchase your own parts and have them installed rather than buy them from a mechanic. Many people think the mechanic can get a better deal on parts, and they do, but then they mark them up. Instead, ask if you can buy your own parts and have them installed, even if it's something small like spark plugs.
Look for rewards programs at your local auto parts store – If you are doing your own repairs, there are ways to save on auto parts and oil. Some auto parts stores have rewards programs much like grocery stores where you can earn savings by shopping with your rewards card.
Compare prices at big box stores – If your car takes a common type of oil and oil filter, you may be able to find these for less at big stores like Walmart.