For most people, purchasing a vehicle is one of the bigger expenses they will make in their lifetime. Owning a car requires spending money on maintenance and car care that can quickly add up. If you’re on a budget and looking to save money on your maintenance needs, below are some affordable car-care moves you can make to get a good return on the performance and longevity of your vehicle.

1. Only Change Oil When Needed

Most people follow a strict rule of replacing their oil every three months or 3,000 miles. This recommendation has been around for a long time, but it is no longer relevant to today’s advanced vehicles. To save money, only change your oil following the recommendations in your owner’s manual. This is often much less than the standard, old recommendation and will save you time and money.

2. Car Detailing

Maintaining your car’s engine is not the only way to keep your car running great and maintained. If you ever plan to sell or trade-in your vehicle, it is important to take care of the interior and exterior as well. While washing it yourself once in a while is a good idea, it is important to get your car detailed at least once a year by a professional. If you don’t have a lot of time, consider using Scrubs Mobile Car Detailing. They will bring services to you for an affordable price.

3. Purchase Tires From Warehouse Store

Most car owners are aware of how important it is to maintain the vehicle’s tires. Getting a set of new tires, however, can put a dent in your finances. To save money, consider getting your tires from a warehouse store such as Sam’s Club, Costco or BJ’s Wholesale. Their prices for members are often much less than local competitors.

4. Save With Regular Fuel

Before you go and fill up your gas tank, check to see if your owner’s manual requires or recommends premium fuel. Many newer vehicles do not need high-priced fuel. Most newer cars can adjust to regular fuel easily because the engines come with knock sensors equipped. They will adjust the timing in the engine automatically if uncontrolled burning is detected. If you fill up your tank often, the money you save by switching from premium to regular can add up.

5. Do Some Work Yourself

Most people instinctively run straight to their mechanic each time they suspect trouble with their vehicle. Not all vehicle repairs will need to be done by your mechanic. They often generate more profit from the simplest repairs because of the money they charge for their time. Of all the tips listed, the ability to do some simple repairs on your vehicle by yourself will save you the most money.

With a little research and practice, there are many simple repairs most people can complete such as replacing brake lights, changing the battery, changing filters in the oil and replacing wiper blades annually. It may seem difficult at first, but there are plenty of videos and guides online to help even the most amateur mechanic get through a simple maintenance issue.

6. Stay Proactive With Preventative Maintenance

You may feel like you save money by waiting until your car breaks down to get something fixed. However, that is often how you end up paying much more. A great way to save money on car maintenance and care is to be proactive with your vehicle’s suggested maintenance plan. Some preventative maintenance measures to take include checking fluid levels regularly, keeping tires inflated properly according to your manufacturer’s recommendations, having chipped glass fixed immediately and having your brake pads replaced regularly.

7. Take Advantage Of Your Warranties

Most new and gently-used vehicles that you purchase come with warranties attached to them. This means that many of your car parts come with limited lifetime warranties. The information on which parts have warranties should be either printed on your receipt or communicated directly to you when you purchase the vehicle or part. If you purchase a part from an auto store, they should also have the information about your warranty on file in their computer systems. Whenever given the option, pay a little extra for a warranty when you buy car parts. You never know when it might come in handy.

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