Cut Your Car Maintenance Costs

Cut Your Car Maintenance Costs

Savvy ways to lower your auto maintenance expenses

According to AAA, if you’re a car owner you should be setting aside $50 a month for car repairs (i.e. things that break) and another $50 a month for car maintenance (i.e. things that you regularly need to take care of and replace like oil). Planning so that you have the money for these line items before they happen is one trick to money-savvy car ownership. But there are also ways to rein these costs in.  

Prioritize Regular Maintenance. If you don’t take care of things in time, they just get worse – and cost you more later. Put oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections at the top of the list of basics you can’t afford to skip. 

Learn to DIY Easy Stuff. There is maintenance that you can learn to do yourself – even if you’re not particularly handy, like changing air filters or topping off your coolant and other fluids. YouTube is full of tutorials so that you can do the work yourself and save some money. 

Get More Than One Bid. The repair shop closest to you isn’t necessarily the best value. Take time to research prices for the services you need, get recommendations from friends and neighbors, and read reviews online. Once you’ve found a reputable mechanic, take time to build a relationship – it can be a huge asset over time.  

Consider an Extended Warranty. If you’re driving an older car, and unexpected repairs would be a financial hardship, consider paying for an extended warranty. It can be worth looking into.

Jean Chatzky

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