When it comes right down to it there really isn't anything cheap about owning a vehicle. Gas prices are on the rise again and maintenance can sometimes feel like revolving door for your hard earned cash. Fortunately, there is a host of things that can be done in order to prevent your car from breaking and save you a ton of money down the road.
Keep reading to find out how you can save money on all things auto part:
Buy Auto Parts Online
The internet is easily one of the most powerful tools a consumer has access to. Not only can you instantly find the price of any part you need to purchase, you can also compare part prices from both online retail stores and local brick and mortar shops.
No matter how you cut it, you're going to get the best deal out there. The icing on the cake is that you can normally look up part inventory right on a retailer's site, which saves you from having to call around and juggle numbers and prices from several different places.
Befriend a Reputable Auto Repair Shop
Sometimes the dealer really is the best place to get an oil change, but that doesn't mean it's the best place to have everything done. Do some research and find out what the most reputable shops in town are and call for quotes. Again, you'll want to compare prices but most shops aren't going to post all of their prices on their website. Having a good shop do your repairs saves you when something else "breaks" after you get your car back.
Check Salvage Yards
Unfortunately even the best parts will eventually break and need to be replaced. If you don't mind purchasing used parts (and you shouldn't) then salvage yards are usually your best bets. Salvage yards are either full-service or you-pull-it joints. Just like you'd expect, you'll find the cheapest parts at a you-pull-it because you're doing all the work yourself.
When you arrive at a salvage yard your first stop should be at the price board. Most of the time you'll find prices for generic parts here that span across the board. So if you need a new radiator for a BMW and happen to find one, you'll usually pay the same prices as one ripped out of a Toyota.
Do Preventative Maintenance Yourself
Doing your own maintenance is a no-brainer but there are still so many people out there who take their car to the dealership for an oil change or to rotate their tires. Cars are much better designed today than they were 30 years ago and most people can easily learn how to do simple things that will add up to hundreds of dollars in savings each year.
In fact, your owner's manual will usually help you do most of it, and you can be sure there is a video or two online for reference. More importantly; however, making sure things like your brake pads are replaced in a timely manner will save you big time if they end of breaking due to negligence.
When it comes to saving money on auto repair it pays to do your research. Compare prices online, stay up-to-date on your maintenance schedule, and don't be afraid to check your local salvage yards for cheaper parts. To learn more, contact a professional that deals in used car parts for information.