Car maintenance can be expensive and car maintenance savings may seem non-existent. Not true. You can save money on your car maintenance just like everything else in your Frugal Living adventure.
As we all know (been there, done that) oil changes, belt replacements, tune ups or more costly repairs like engine problems can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. How do you save money on the repairs necessary to keep your car in tip top shape? We have some tips here to help you maximize your savings.
Maintenance - the Key to the Life of the Car
Before we get started, I must tell you a secret in how to get the best performance and longevity out of your car. Get out the owner's manual.
The owners manual is a detailed guide on how to take the best care of your car. You'll find all the information you need on maintenance, when to replace parts, what's the correct fluid level, how much oil does it need and how much air should be in the tires.
Regular maintenance is the ticket to car maintenance savings in the long run.
What's the recommended maintenance schedule?
The maintenance schedule for cars vary greatly depending on the car.
Every car will have the recommended maintenance schedule outlined in the owners manual.
As time consuming as it can be, don't put off the regularly scheduled maintenance of your car. Taking care of your car will save you money in the long run.
Again, the recommendation is in the owner's manual. Some older cars may recommend every 3,000 miles while newer cars may have the recommendation of 5,000 or 7,500 miles. It all depends on the car but remember, the oil is the life of the car.
Putting off an oil change will cost you dearly later.
Rotating the Tires
Your tires should be rotated every time you get an oil change. If your tires are worn or the air is low, you don't get the optimal gas mileage out of your car.
The coolant should also be changed at the recommendation of the owner's manual.
Plan for It
First and foremost, part of your emergency fund should be planning for these types of repairs and ongoing maintenance.
When you've planned for the maintenance, the emergencies will be few and far between.
But just in case you do have a car emergency, it makes it much easier to have the car repaired when you've planned for it. Instead of having to buy a new car and pay 5 years worth of payments, you've planned to have it repaired.
Do it Yourself
Many car repairs and maintenance activities can be done at home. These include headlight replacements, windshield wiper replacements, oil changes and fixing a flat tire.
Have no idea where to start? The Internet provides a massive amount of resources for at-home car repair. You can also ask the staff at an auto supply shop to help you out with your task - AutoZone, Napa Auto Parts.
Using these services helps you maximize your car maintenance savings.
Take Air Filters as an example - Never get your air filter changed at an auto service shop. It's extremely easy to replace and there's always a tremendous markup on it in addition to the labor. It might take you 15 minutes to change at home. Usually, you just pop open a plastic cover, lift out the filter and put the new one in.
Look for coupons
Most auto repair shops and tire dealers have coupons available on their website and in home mailers.
Some great examples of car maintenance savings:
NTB Tire has a special on 9.99 oil changes with free tire rotation. Print your coupon here
Unbeatable Deal - 19.99 Rotation and Balance
Use Daily Deals
Occasionally you'll find car savings on daily deal websites like Groupon.