How to Service Your Car for Cheap | Car Maintenance Tips

Car maintenance, vehicle maintenance, service your car

As anyone who has ever owned a car will tell you, the expenses for a vehicle can add up. You can lose a large chunk of change repairing your car. In some cases, it makes more sense for you to find cheaper ways that you can service your car. Here are some car maintenance tips that will allow you to service your car for cheap.

Tip #1: Car Maintenance Tips—Find the Best Mechanic and Stick with Them

Probably one of the most obvious tips; having an honest auto mechanic can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs. If you don’t believe it, look at how a dishonest auto mechanic can wind up costing you more simply because they were lying or exaggerating. The good mechanics won’t always be the mom-and-pop shops, you can even find a good mechanic at a dealership. Check to see if the auto mechanic has an AAA certification, especially if they happen to be operated by an AAA mechanic shop, you can get your car repaired for a fraction of the cost.

You could also look for an ASE certification. This certification stands for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, and they have become a major certifying body for auto mechanics. You might also check with your neighbors to see what auto mechanics they have used in the past to get a good one.

Tip #2: Ask for Multiple Estimates

Let’s say that you have found a mechanic that you might be interested in learning more about. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around for a second opinion. Even if you don’t suspect you’re getting overcharged, it’s a wonderful way to keep the mechanic honest. With these car maintenance tips, you should be able to lower the cost of owning a vehicle and helping to make it a more affordable thing. Another important thing to getting your service for cheap is to always get it in writing. You want it to remain valid for as long as you will need for shopping. You also want to check to see what the other garage will have to say about what the problem is for the vehicle.

Tip #3: Do Your Own Diagnostics with a Code Reader

Save money through these winter car maintenance tips. One of the ways that you can cut down on the cost of owning a vehicle is through buying OBD-II. This stands for On-Board Diagnostics, and the reporting technology will work in most of the modern cars. You can choose to use this system in coordination with your smartphone, and you can do it right from the home to get an honest answer about the state of your vehicle. Let’s say that you see a light go up on your dashboard, and it starts to beep like crazy. In most cases, you will have an OBD code that is associated with that, and you can figure out what is wrong with the vehicle in this way. At the same time, the code will translate this into more human language so that you can understand it more easily.

Tip #4: Do the Work on Your Own

When it comes to the DIY approach, you have some repairs that you don’t necessarily need to take into a mechanic. You have some cases where you can do repairs, and it will cost you much less. Regardless of your car knowledge, there are a few things like checking the fluids, replacing your own air filter and fuel filter, and changing your oil that is all important. You can also learn how to change your own oil. Not to mention, you can learn some of the more advanced work on vehicles like replacing rotors and brakes. Doing this can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars over time. Obviously, this type of work will require that you take the time to learn how to fix a vehicle. However, once you have mastered these aspects of car maintenance, you can save big.

How Often Should You Service Your Car?

In general, you should service your car every 12,000 miles. This means that if you drive a lot, you can save a ton of money. How often you service your car depends on how much you drive, but those who drive heavily should service it once every six months.

Tip #5: Keep the Right Tools on Hand

You will find it much easier to service a car if you have the right tools on hand. For example, some of the tools that you will want include:

  • Jack stand
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Breaker bar
  • Rubber mallet
  • Torque wrench

You will also want to be sure that you have space where you can work on the car. You want it to be nice and flat.

Tip #6: Educate Yourself

To ensure that you don’t get fleeced, you will want to educate yourself because this ensures that the auto mechanic can’t put down any number, and you will simply pay it. Check over everything before you ever decide to hand over your credit card to the mechanic. If something doesn’t look right or the total came over the estimate given in writing, you have a right to dispute it. Another thing that you must be sure of is to check your credit card even after it gets charged. People have found duplicate charges for labor, duplicate parts, and charges that went way over the estimate. You can dispute these things, and the advantage of using a credit card is that you often get protection from the credit card company. In fact, it’s one of the requirements under national law.

You also have a couple of different sites that were established to help you understand what the cost of the parts:

  • AutoMD
  • RepairPal
  • DriverSide
  • ALLDATAdiy

This helps you to understand the cost of auto parts so that you don’t get surprised when they give you the bill.

Tip #7: Look for Specific Applications to Your Vehicle in the Owner’s Manual

You should look for specific applications within the owner’s manual to get a better idea of what you will need. While many of the aspects of maintaining a car will remain universal, you should check the owner’s manual for scheduled maintenance requirements because this will tell you specific things about the car’s needs. For example, some cars will have specific timing where they need to replace the timing belt at a specific mileage interval.

These are some of the things that you may want to keep in mind with maintenance tips because it can help you to have a more positive experience with your vehicle and in life in general. In addition to keeping the internal components working well, you may want to wax the car twice per year. This protects the paint on the vehicle. Also, it keeps the rust away so that your car continues to look like it is in top condition. Keeping these things in mind will ensure that you get the most from these vehicles. Many of the service centers will offer you what’s known as a tune-up. However, to save money, these aren’t always worth it, and you should ask for an itemized list of what they plan to do before agreeing to a tune-up. Let’s say that you have an old junker sitting around that is beyond help. You can fill out an offer form at Cash for Cars Canada and get some money for the broken down vehicles.