Car repairs can be expensive, especially if you take your vehicle to an automotive repair shop. Many shops charge significantly high fees for labor and overcharge on the cost of parts. You can save hundreds to thousands of dollars each year by completing certain simple automotive repairs yourself.
Below is a list of simple vehicle maintenance tasks you can do yourself that will help you save big on car repair costs:
Change the Oil
Most vehicles need their oil changed between ever 3,000 to every 10,000 miles. How often your oil needs to be changed will vary depending on the type of car you have and the kind of oil you use. Usually modern Diesel Engines need more frequent oil changes, especially if you use your vehicle mostly for short distances in the city. However your vehicle’s manual can help you determine how often to change the oil.
All you need to change the oil at home is a drip pan, a few basic tools, and some new oil. Professional oil changes can cost up to $100, while if you do the project yourself, the price will rarely cost more than $30, depending on the quality of the oil you purchase. Also keep in mind that factory recommended oils are not always the best treat for your car.
Browse around type specific forums to find out what others are using, and what to avoid. However the golden rule is when buying oil for your car: never buy lower quality than the factory recommendation.
One task that many automotive shops overcharge for is fluid replacement. You can easily add more fluid to most chambers of your vehicle yourself for a fraction of the price. The most commonly overcharged fluid replacement is for wiper fluid, which is typically little more than water with a little soap in it. Fill your fluids yourself and you can save over $100 each year.
Changing the Battery
Changing the battery is a little more complicated than switching out filters or filling fluid tanks, but it is still something most vehicle owners can do on their own. Simply remove the old battery connections starting with the negative side and use a wrench to loosen the bolts holding the battery in place. Lift out the battery and slide the new one into place. Screw in the new battery and connect the battery ports starting with the positive side. This can save you over $100.
Switching out Filters
Changing engine, oil, and cabin air filters is not difficult, but depending on how your hood is set up could be somewhat difficult to reach. All you have to do is locate the filters, remove the old filter, and replace it with a new one. Generally, a simple tool like an adjustable wrench is the only tool you need. You can save hundreds each year by switching out your vehicle filters on your own.
Purchase parts and Vehicle products online
Another way to save on car repairs is to buy parts for more challenging automotive tasks online. Many online shops can sell their parts for much less than the automotive repair shop, and sometimes even less than a local automotive parts store. Just make sure that when you are buying parts online that you know exactly which parts you need before ordering.
Doing a few simple vehicle repairs at home can save you significant amounts of money each year. You can also save money by purchasing car parts online, then simply paying for the installation at a vehicle repair shop. This can help you avoid the high markup that many shops place on the items they sell in-store. Following these tips can go a long way toward saving you hundreds each year on car repairs.
This is a Guest Post by Kate Simmons. Kate currently represents Parts Geek the best source online to find automotive parts & supplies.