Auto Maintenance Page – Savings Tips for Cars

Auto maintenance money saving tips.

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This Auto Maintenance Page contains a growing list of money-saving ideas for maintaining your cars!

Auto Maintenance Tip #1 New Life for Wiper Blades

Here’s a tip for drivers in the rain. When I worked at Blue Star Auto Stores in high school, I could buy replacement wiper blades for a dime all the way up to 25 cents. No problem then, although my rate of pay was 25 cents an hour, today you can mortgage the ranch for a set of wiper blades. I once had a little gadget in which you’d insert a small piece of sandpaper and swipe it across the rubber surface of the blade and VOILA!!!, it was good as new again.

BUT, I lost the darn thing … now I improvise with a piece of sandpaper between thumb and finger … works just about as well. Swipe one side then the other. It really does renew the surface and extends the life of the blade two or three times.

Give your wiper blades new life with this simple DIY hack!

Heck, in the old days, we could have saved up to 75 cents. (That meant taking in at least three first run movies!)

Get a windshield wiper sharpener from Amazon.

uxcell Black Windshield Blade Repair Tool Car Windscreen Wiper Refurbish Grinding

Want to know which wiper blades people are rating the best, and buying the most of, on Amazon? Click here

Full disclosure: This page contains affiliate links that take you to Amazon. It doesn’t change the price you pay, but it does generate a small commission for our website which helps us bring good content to you at no charge. Thanks for clicking!

Auto Maintenance Tip #2 Parts and Accessories for Less

We have two go-to resources when we’re buying parts and accessories for our cars.

  1. JC Whitney – one of the largest online auto parts distributors – we’ve purchased floor mats, a van spare tire cover and running boards from them.
  2. Rock Auto – we purchased a hard to find intake manifold from Rock auto and loved their pricing. Our son-in-law Collin and an auto mechanic friend of ours told us about this resource. Huge savings! 

Auto Maintenance Tip #3 Loosen Your Engine Sludge

I had a 99 Toyota Sienna whose engine was prone to oil sludge.

There was a class-action lawsuit on these engines that spanned from 1997 to 2002 and included the Lexus brand as well. I took the car to the dealer and they refused to repair/replace the engine. I fought the dealer’s decision, but in the interim, I needed to maintain my engine as I planned on driving the car until it died.

My Solution? The product I used is called Auto-Rx which essentially loosens the sludge which then moves through the engine and into the oil filter. I have no affiliation with this product but just want others to know they can save their engine, avoid costly repairs and keep their car running well, longer. Since 2003 I have been using this product when I first learned about the sludge issue.

I have my engine oil analyzed through a lab periodically and as soon as sludge starts to develop, I do an Auto-Rx treatment. My understanding is Auto-Rx dissolves the sludge so it can be trapped by the oil filter. More info here from Neever – Monrovia, MD

Auto Maintenance Tip #4 Know When Your Car Lights are On

Lights on sign on a car control

When winter sets in, leaving the headlights on becomes such a problem in an old car that won’t turn them off automatically. I routinely drive off with my car lights on, in the dim morning light, arrive later when the sky is brighter, get out unthinkingly and…..later on, get in to discover that my car has a dead battery….again….and all I can hear is that dreadful ‘weeeee’ sound. Of course, I carry jumper cables but it’s still embarrassing, time-consuming, and a serious nuisance.

After envying those who have newer-model cars with an audible “lights on” signal, I finally thought to create one of my own. And it works very well, and it’s easy and free! It’s just a bright yellow, one-inch-square sign, on the lights handle of the car, that says, “lights are ON”. The key is to position it so that it’s eye-catching when your lights wand is rotated to ON, but only visible across the top (in parallel with your line of sight) when the wand is rotated to OFF.
Elizabeth Hardisty – Mercer Island, WA

Auto Maintenance Tip #5 Check Your Tires! Seriously Important

A dear friend, Judy, sent us this link to an ABC 20/20 report about old tires being sold as new. This is EYE OPENING and DANGEROUS. Check your tires and be safe!

Auto Tip #6  Bring Your Own Oil

I recently had my oil changed. When I went in, I asked for their very best deal . . .   I wanted to let you know what they said they would do if I really wanted a good deal on getting my oil changed.

At Express Oil Change (located in 13 states), they said if I bought my own oil and filter and brought it to them, they would change my oil for me for $17 instead of the $38 it normally costs in our area.  I thought that was a great deal and wanted to share it with your frugal friends! 

If you can find a good sale at the auto parts store for oil and a filter you can really cut the price in half of what it would normally cost you to get your oil changed. It pays to ask if your local oil change facility will do the same. Bob – Chicago, IL

For more ideas to help you save on fuel for your car, check out our money-saving tips page for gas savings.

Also, check out our Walmart Car Battery page and the awesome deal we found there.

For more tips on saving money on cars, consider the car chapter in our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money.

If you have a tip related to saving money on auto maintenance, please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.

2 thoughts on “Auto Maintenance Page – Savings Tips for Cars

  1. Cheryl Pounds

    Update to my previous post… just an example of how much I save by using discount codes and extra earned bonus rewards: recently I purchased 2 rear struts and a set of rear coil springs for my car’s suspension work. Full retail before tax is 258.97$ and I don’t want to pay that much if at all possible. Care to guess what I paid??? 175.26$ with tax. Over 32% off total (if you add tax to the 258.97$). One item needed picked up and another is being shipped for free. I think I did well especially since all parts are new and have lifetime warranties. I even looked around other part stores and even junk yards and didn’t find a better price.

  2. Cheryl Pounds

    I have a few ways to save on auto repair and maintenance. First is if you get your own parts (this doesn’t work on fluids) I have found excellent deals at advanced auto website, and use an online discount code. They are always available, just Google them. Plus often I earn rewards on future purchases which can be combined with discount codes for even greater savings. Also another great site to save on parts is I have saved so much this way over the years. The other is to check with local colleges and high schools, some do auto work for the public. I once needed a complete brake job done and it was done at a local university for 177.77$. I was quoted over 600$ at shops. You only pay for parts this way, but you can’t be in a hurry, usually you have to leave your car there for a few days. Mine was in for two days. It saved me so much money though.

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