Cars are expensive. Behind your rent or mortgage, your vehicle may be one of your largest monthly expenses. While you can’t avoid making your monthly car payment, paying for insurance or gas, you can save some money on car maintenance. Consider the following tips:
Choose the Right Oil
You may be used to taking your car to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles on the dot. You go with whatever oil the shop recommends and don’t ask any questions. Well, it’s time to do a little bit of research to save you some dollars. Look in the owner’s manual for your car to see what type of oil they recommend. Usually you can go with a standard oil and skip the needlessly expensive high-performance or high-mileage oil. You also may not need to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Many new vehicles use a synthetic oil that can last 6,000 to 10,000 miles. While it’s more expensive, it also lasts much longer, saving you money in the long run.
Take Care of Your Tires
Tires are expensive to replace, so you need to take care of them so they last as long as possible. Start by rotating your tires about every 6,000 miles (or when you get your oil changed). Many places will do this for free if you bought your tires there, so don’t waste money if you don’t have to. You also should make sure your tires are properly inflated. If you don’t have enough air, you will have worse gas mileage; if you have too much air, you take the risk of them popping. Tires are especially important to sports and muscle cars, such as the Chevy Camaro. If you want to maintain the Camaro’s high performance and power, you need to check your tire treads to ensure they are safe to drive on and that your tires don’t have any signs of dry rot. It’s better to spend a little money on new tires than to spend a lot of money on an accident.
Buy Your Own Parts
Not all shops accept this option, but, if you can, you should buy your own parts instead of parts from the mechanic. Oftentimes there is a markup on common parts that you can avoid by purchasing your own at car shops like AutoZone or even from Amazon. Even the small, inexpensive parts add up to big savings during the lifespan of your vehicle.
Do It Yourself
One of the best ways to save money on car maintenance is to avoid labor fees by doing it yourself. You can easily do small repairs, such as replacing wiper blades. If you have the know-how (or want to learn), you also can change the oil, rotate the tires, replace lights, put in a new battery and check fluids on your own. There are plenty of video tutorials online you can use to educate yourself and save a bundle on minor maintenance.
Even though your vehicle is a big line item in your budget, you can do small things every day to make it more affordable. Drive safely, try to handle some of the regular maintenance yourself and save where you can to keep a little more money in your bank account.