Recently, with current economy many people are looking for ways to save money. Many of you are switching to generic brand food items, lowering your thermostats and possibly combining trips around town to save on gas. One thing you may have not looked into is doing your own routine maintenance on your vehicles. As daunting as this may sound for some of you, relax it is not that complicated. An oil change takes twenty minutes or less, after you have done it a couple of times. Changing your air filter takes even less time.
On average most of us, realistically drive 20,000 miles per year. A little more or less depending on the length of your commute to work and back. That is five oil changes per year, at 55.00 per visit to the quick lube. Do it yourself for around 25.00. You can easily save yourself 150.00 per year just by changing your own oil.
Many things happen throughout the course of a year that you can save money on doing yourself. Say your headlamp burns out. You take it to a shop or a dealer and it will probably be 25.00 labor, do it yourself, nothing.
While my daughter was away at Collage both of her headlights burned out within three days of each other. Now I am sure she was fine driving around with one headlight and figured she would wait until she came home to have me do it. However, when both went bad, she had to act. Bless her heart! Instead of calling me to send her money to go to the dealer to change them she bought two bulbs at the auto parts store and followed the instructions in the owners manual and did it herself with a borrowed screwdriver. She was really tickled with herself.
Therefore, you see anyone can do maintenance on their vehicles, and it is not just for men either. To get started saving money on maintaining your vehicles, here is a list of tools you will need.
A repair manual specific for your vehicle – I personally like the one from Haynes, It has many pictures to guide you through every step. A combination tool set – A tool set with the most popular size sockets and wrenches. Most come complete with screwdrivers also. There is no need to go overboard and get the very best to start with.
A set of ramps – Drive your front wheels up on these, and you will easily have all the room you need to change your oil and do other repairs. An oil drain pan – This is a large collection container to easily catch and contain the oil as it drains from the oil pan. Most have a convenient spout so you can pour the used oil into a five-gallon bucket for easy recycling. An oil filter wrench will be needed also. All of the above tools may sound like a lot, but you can save enough just from oil changes alone, in less than one year to recover what you have spent.
As you get more familiar with doing repairs, the more you will be able to do. Hey, front brake pads! Most shops will convince you a brake job is as complicated as docking an aircraft carrier. I can do it in about 20 minuets per wheel. You can do it too! Doing your own brake pad replacement will equal a savings of about 300.00.
If the thought of working on your car in the dead of winter scares you, there is an answer for that. Switching to synthetic oil can greatly increase the miles between oil changes. This can get anyone through the coldest part of the season. In the fall, check your belts, check all other fluids, change your oil and you should be good to go until the early spring thaw. So, if the economy has you looking for ways to save a buck. Try doing your own vehicle maintenance and keep some money in your wallet! The worst thing you can do is not doing needed maintenance as necessary and trying save money that way. It will cost more in the end.