Many motorists think that car repair is out of their price range. The economy is forcing many individuals to make hard choices between paying their rent on time, buying nutritious foods and keeping their automobile in tip top shape. Vehicle owners may put off maintenance or repairs until it’s far too late. The longer a car owner waits, the worse the problems get. A vehicle is often one of the most valuable assets that an individual or family may own. Not only is the automobile itself valuable; the value of what this reliable mode of transportation actually does is priceless. A sedan, truck or SUV performs hard work for its owner.

It totes the driver and his or her passengers to work, to school, to the doctor, to the grocery store and to social events. Without reliable transportation, it would be much more difficult to travel to employment locations, get to class on time, obtain medical care, buy groceries and visit friends or attend local happenings. And these are just the basics. Neglecting basic maintenance of this asset may turn it into a hunk of metal parked in the driveway or parking space. Think you can’t afford its upkeep? Try living without it to watch the money and opportunities drain out of your life. Here are some ideas for maintaining your sedan, truck or SUV on a tight budget:

– Preventative maintenance: Perform preventative maintenance chores on schedule in order to save major repair bills in the long run. Oil changes, tire balancing, and tune ups will keep the engine purring along and the job, school, shopping chores and everything else on track.

– Look for coupons: Many auto repair shops offer money saving coupons to their customers. These may be available at the shop, in the local newspaper or even online. Go to your favorite car repair business’ website and look for weekly or monthly specials or sales. Plan your appointments for specific services around the coupon dates.

– Loss leaders: Some companies charge a minuscule amount for certain services such as an oil change in order to gain loyal customers. These are called “loss leaders” because they actually lose money on the deal. You, the customer, will win big. If you end up being won over by their extreme competence, you’ll be winning in that regard, as well.

– Change your own oil: An individual with basic mechanical skills can learn how to change their own motor oil. Using a funnel, the proper grade oil, wearing dirty-work attire and donning a set of gloves will be close to getting you to having the job done. Be sure to save a few empty milk jugs to tote the used lubricant to the local auto parts store. Auto parts stores will usually recycle it at no cost to you. This helps you and the planet.

– Auto classes at your local community college: Many community colleges offer classes in basic automotive skills. This is helpful for a motorist who wants to learn to care for basic upkeep on their own car. If an individual is not mechanically inclined, they can offer their car up for practice by other students. This is similar to having a haircut at the local beauty college. The students get to learn and the consumer gets a service performed at a greatly less expensive.