Many frugal living enthusiasts save money by taking public transportation or riding a bike whenever possible. Considering the cost of gas, driving can be a huge and often superfluous expense. Unfortunately, the reality is that owning a car is a necessity for most people.
As a car owner, you understand the importance of having regular maintenance performed on your vehicle to extend its life and avoid costly future repairs. You may not know, however, that a lot of what you spend paying someone else to do it is a waste of money. You can put your savings account to good use by avoiding simple car maintenance labor costs and deposit the extra money instead. Here are a few tips on how to save money by doing your own easy car maintenance.
The filter keeps things like dirt and bugs from entering the engine of your car and a clean air filter is essential for optimum engine performance. Even so, this is a very easy and inexpensive part to replace.
If you knew how much extra you were being charged in labor to have your filter changed, you would have started doing it yourself a long time ago. The process involves unhooking and unscrewing a few latches, taking the old filter out, popping in a new one and closing up. It really only takes five minutes. Sometimes, you can just wash the one you have with some dish soap and water and let it air-dry to avoid shelling out for a new one.
In order to drive safely, your windshield wipers need to provide you with a clear view of the road. Depending upon the weather where you live, you may rely on them quite heavily. Eventually, the rubber component breaks down and begins to streak and smear, necessitating a blade replacement about once a year.
Admittedly, this can be tricky. If attempting windshield wiper blade replacement causes your blood pressure rise, go ahead and pay someone else to do it. Otherwise, you can buy the blades from just about anywhere that sells basic automotive items, like Pep Boys or even Target, and change them out yourself.
This is for serious do-it-yourselfers who don’t mind getting a little dirty in the name of frugality. It requires a bit more skill than other maintenance jobs but will save big bucks in the long run.
Think about how often you have to take your car in for an oil change. You spend around $30 or more each visit, assuming someone doesn’t talk you into spending more on other previously mentioned easy maintenance tasks, and you have it done 3-4 times a year.
Changing it yourself will instead run about $4 per quart of oil, after the initial investment into whatever tools you don’t have yet. Remember to properly dispose of the dirty oil as well to avoid a hefty fine.
If you’re not a hands-on kind of person, starting out may be slow. With patience and some practice you’ll be an expert and save hundreds of dollars a year.
Most importantly: always be sure to read your car’s manual first and follow all safety guidelines. Saving money on car maintenance isn’t worth it if you end up with hospital bills.
This guest post was written by Go Banking Rates, bringing you informative personal finance content and helpful tools. You can follow them on Twitter at @GoBankingRates
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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