How To Maintain Your Car Cheaply (But Well)

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Some people feel that getting basically robbed every time you have to fix your car is an unavoidable fact of life. These people are wrong, and we are going to show you why:

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In this world, knowledge is valuable, and when dealing with cars, you have to arm yourself first and foremost with knowledge. For example, how does your car’s heating and air conditioning system work, and what are its components? Same thing with the brakes, the steering, the suspension, and so on down the line. Know which parts wear out frequently (brake pads, tires, oil etc. ) and which should last a long time.

If you know little or nothing about cars, here is a great place to start. There are lots of great articles here telling you everything you need to know about the basics of maintaining a car. In general, read up, read up, and read up.

Some other quick hints we would like to add:

-Avoid dealerships. They call them stealerships for a reason. And they are famous for lying to you and overcharging. Enough said. Avoid them with a passion. People think they need them, or that they provide the best quality of service. They don’t.

-Avoid auto parts dealers that have service departments. They are better than the stealerships, but often not by very much.

-Always ask if something can be rebuilt rather than replaced cost-effectively, and if it’s ok to buy something refurbished or even from a junkyard (electronic modules and the like taken off of wrecks can be a great way to get an expensive part on the cheap, for example. Another good example of a money-saving technique is to get parts like brake rotors and fly-wheels cut down so they are smooth again and don’t need replacing.

-Always ask to see the old parts and get them back if you wish. Any honest mechanic shoudldn’t have a problem with this. Get them to show you the difference between the faulty part and a working one.

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-Get at least three opinions on each individual problem, if not three full-blown diagnostics. It sounds like a waste of time and money, but the up-front investment often leads to massive savings down the road. Mis-diagnostics with cars are as common as they are with humans.

This simple bunch of tips can save you unbelievable heartache and possible extreme poverty just by following them, even loosely. If you have any other tips that you think are relevant, feel free to comment below.

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Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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