How to Save a Few Hundred Dollars a Year on Your Auto Service
|April 17, 2012||Posted by thecheapskatemom under auto, environment, features, home, household|
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The short answer is “learn to say no”. Let me explain.
If your car was made in the last 10 years, chances are you could be pressured to spend money on unnecessary services.
It’s easy to get scared into purchasing a preventive service to avoid a potentially catastrophic event – as told by some of the less scrupulous bunch running auto service shops. As a matter of fact,scare tactics are one of their most successful sales strategies.
But remember that it’s all about balance. You still need to keep up with your car’s service. It may just be as often as you’re lead to believe that it is. Changing your oil every 3,000 miles seems to be something that was ingrained in us by our friends and family members as far back as we can remember. Technology has advanced such that our engines, filters, and suspension systems require much less attention and maintenance than cars of yesteryear.
I know you’re thinking, “Yeah, right. I have to change the oil every 3,000 miles – otherwise bad things will happen.”
Let me prove it to you. Pull up your car’s owner’s manual. You can find it online if you don’t have it handy. Now check to see what service schedule the manufacturer recommends. Just to give you an example, a 2007 Honda Civic is recommended to have its oil changed every 10,000 miles.
Shocking? What if I told you that the industry average is 7,500 miles? Yeah, you’ve been wasting a lot of money on unnecessary service.
The state of California even created a website to make it easy for you to check the recommended oil change interval for your car based on what the manufacturer recommends in the owner’s manual.
Let’s crunch some numbers: Assuming your family has 2 cars and they each drive between 12- to 15-thousand miles per year, you’d go through 10 oil change services per year if you changed the oil every 3,000 miles. Since the average price of oil changes is about $35, that’s $350 in oil changes alone. If you followed your owner’s manual and changed the oil every 7,500 miles, you’d save close to $200 a year – and your car would still perform as it should.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you drive more than others or in really harsh conditions (very dusty area, lots of stop-and-go, etc.) you may need to change your oil more frequently. But nowhere near as frequently as the oil industry would want you to believe.
One last thing worth mentioning: some dealers are providing their own “supplemental” owner’s manual with their own suggested scheduled maintenance. Learn to say no because this is an underhanded way to compete with other service shops in the area.
Remember, stick to what the owner’s manual says and don’t be afraid to say no.
And when the time finally comes for you to have your car serviced, remember you can still save a little extra. How?
Do yourself a favor and check out the latest oil change coupons before you schedule your next service.