Whether it’s a head gasket, a bad tail light, worn brakes, or a slow tire puncture, there is nothing like the vulnerability of visiting an auto repair shop or calling in a mechanic to resolve your car’s problems.
Sometimes, less reputable mechanics may sense your anxiety and take advantage of such situations by charging you an inflated price for simple jobs. Then again, there are people who assume that taking their vehicle to the dealership is the best bet, but they too suffer from the rage of inflated prices.
DIY is your best friend
But things tend to take a turn for the better financially when car owners take things into their own hands. For instance, if you are capable of changing the oil by yourself, it will help you save you a few dollars each time. Additionally, replacing spark plugs, blown out bulbs, and other simple maintenance chores will save green bucks.
If you are a do-it-yourself (DIY) person and enjoy working on your car, you probably look out for the best deals on consumables, lights, and accessories. In many cases, DIY people tend to procure good quality used auto parts that work as effectively as new ones, and hence, save even more money!
Hit list of DIY auto repair jobs
You will find countless automobile repair and maintenance jobs that owners are able to perform easily and that require an insignificant amount of money. For instance, replacing the oil is the most frequent auto maintenance job that can save you money. Another easy job is replacing the air cleaner element or fuel filters, especially on diesel cars, which could be a tad tricky as compared to gasoline cars, but doing it yourself will save you a considerable amount of money.
Since the owner’s manual that came with your car usually just contains information on how to check fluid levels or when to schedule routine maintenance, you may need to take a closer look before starting any job by viewing repair and maintenance footage on portals like YouTube, or referring to repair manuals from publishers such as Haynes. Better yet, invite a friend or relative with maintenance and repairs experience to show you how its done.
Clocking several miles
If you are a stop-and-go city driver, you will need to replace the spark plugs, air/fuel filters, and oils/fluids more frequently, as recommended by your owner’s manual. If you have lost your owner’s manual, you should still be able to download a soft copy from the manufacturer’s website.
Intricate jobs, such as changing a bad fuel pump, replacing components on the ignition coils, and replacing disk pads and drum brake shoes, may require a mechanic, but are totally doable merely by watching a video on YouTube or referring to a repair manual.
Your car’s battery requires the least maintenance and you will usually never need a mechanic to fix any issues except if the car has been sitting idle for a long time. Nevertheless, cars with dead batteries can be jump started with a set of jumper cables and a friend’s car, or you could just use some elbow grease to push start your car if you have a manual transmission.
Getting the right resources to assist with auto repairs
When looking out for the precise assistance for maintaining your prized possession, you will come across hordes of resources claiming to be the best. The information contained in your owner’s manual is limited, so you should also source additional information off of the web.
Sign up with automotive forums, especially the ones based on your car’s make and model, to receive answers regarding your maintenance and repairs questions. Following such forums regularly will give you ample information on performing simple and intricate jobs on your vehicle by yourself.
Other alternatives to save money
Once you get the hang of working on your car by yourself, you simply will have to quote part numbers at your local auto parts counter or on-line retailer and smile all the way back to your garage as you fix it yourself.
Replacing bulbs, rotating tires, flushing the radiator, and other similar jobs will come easily once you begin to work on your car. However, the best way to save a fistful of dollars is by making use of quality assured used car parts that are kept for resale by a used auto part dealer or junk yard. Since you receive a warranty, it is the best way to keep your car going strong for miles without breaking the bank!
Written by Sally Houston.