Saving money on your car means more than finding the best price for a litre of gas. Maintaining and repairing your car will save you both money and headaches.
1. Do it yourself
Some repairs are just too simple to pay an auto shop to handle. By consulting a repair manual specific to your car, you may feel comfortable enough to change a burned out taillight or headlight bulb, replace an air filter, top off windshield washer fluid or replace a broken mirror on your own.
- You could also ask a friend to teach you basic maintenance, or take a course on the subject at a community college.
2. Read the manual
Yes, it sounds ridiculously obvious, but so many costly and unnecessary repairs can be avoided if you simply follow the maintenance recommendations in your car’s owner’s manual. It’s simple, but few people do it.
3. Be informed
When you have to head to the auto shop, be sure to pass along as much information as you have about your car’s problem.
- For example, don’t just say, “I think there’s something wrong with my brakes.” Be specific and explain exactly how your brakes are causing you problems.
- You’ll save your auto mechanic’s time diagnosing the problem — and as a result, you’ll save your money, too.
4. Find a good mechanic before you need one
Ask neighbours, friends and family members if they have an auto mechanic they trust and who does good work. Just make sure the auto shop will honour your car’s extended warranty (if you have one).
- Once you find a possible shop, take your car in for something small, like an oil change, to see if you like the work done before you need a major repair.
5. Check the fluids
You can save hundreds of dollars each year by ensuring that your automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, clutch fluid and battery water levels are topped off. These easy chores will help keep your engine from getting damaged.
Keeping your car in good condition while you own it will not only keep stress at bay, but might even help you out when it comes time to sell it.