My father has one rule about car repairs that’s always saved him BIG money over the years. He repairs his car himself. He’s all about cheap car maintenance! Since I’m now on the road, he took it upon himself to show me how to perform car maintenance tasks that can easily be accomplished. I was dreading the lesson until I crunched the numbers and realized half a day’s work saved us $400!
Here’s how we saved money on car repairs.
Change Your Car’s Oil
This was the easiest task I had to complete, but it is quite messy if you’re not careful. It took me about an hour from start to finish, but my dad can change a car’s oil in 30 minutes. This task also requires very few tools. We did have to buy oil, and a new oil filter, but I would pay a repair shop for those items, with a markup. Here’s how to change your car’s oil. Money Saved: $75
Change Your Car’s Air Filter
The air filter in our car was enclosed in a black plastic casing that I had to prop open. Dad warned me to allow the car to cool completely before sticking my hands under the hood. This task wasn’t very time-consuming except that we brought home the wrong filter so we had to head back to the store. Here’s how to change your car’s filters. Money Saved: $30
Change Your Car’s Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are little devices that take in high voltage electricity at one end and create a spark at the other end. They are hidden inside your car’s cylinder and help maintain a high gas mileage. I used a socket wrench to unscrew these little suckers. It took me about 30 minutes. Steady hands are a must for this task. Here’s how to change your car’s spark plugs. Money Saved: $45
Change Your The Car’s Brake Pads
I was intimidated by changing our car’s brake pads. After all, you’re messing with your car’s brakes! I want to save money, but I don’t want to compromise our car’s safety. I won’t be changing brake pads by myself anytime soon, but I will give it another try. This task took the most time and tools. Here’s how to change your car’s break pads. Money Saved: About $250-$500
Here’s how YOU can save money on routine car maintenance.
- Familiarize yourself with your owner’s manual. This has the 411 on the parts you’ll need to purchase for car repairs.
- Follow a routine car maintenance schedule and keep good car maintenance records. It will keep you from shelling out money for repairs that have been fixed.
- DIY cheap car maintenance takes time and space. Our building manager doesn’t allow us to do any car repairs in our parking spot so we headed to my aunt’s house and allowed sufficient time to complete every task.
- At-home car maintenance requires you have several tools. My dad loves tools so he had everything we needed.
- Can’t afford to buy tools for cheap car maintenance? Many shops like Autozone will lend you tools for a small fee.
- Search YouTube for tutorials on your car’s particular year and model.
- My uncle invested time and money in mechanic school to learn basic car maintenance. He’s the one we turn to for advice.
- DIY car maintenance not for you? No problem. Bargain Babe shares the pros and cons of skipping the dealer and heading to a mechanic instead.
- Look for coupons for car maintenance before taking in your car.
Performing cheap car maintenance takes time, but it’s well worth the savings. I have so much more to learn.
What cheap car maintenance do you perform yourself?