auto repairs http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12791/all en-US 8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_car_trouble_000022274153.jpg" alt="Woman learning common car repair mistakes that can cost her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Until I bought my first new car with my own hard-earned cash, I took my previous, very used cars for granted. Maintenance<em> schmaintenance</em>, I thought &mdash; even though that likely resulted in most of those vehicles straight-up punking out on me. Like, stopping in the middle of the road and never starting again because they had had <em>enough</em>. My dad wasn't happy about it the first time, and he wasn't keen on my negligence the third time around either. Yeah &mdash; it was bad.</p> <p>Of course, I've wised up since my teenage and college days &mdash; if only because the maintenance and repair work comes out of my pocket now. Yet, there are still corners I try to cut here and there, as I'm sure you do, too. The unfortunate result of that frugalness, however, could turn into an even more costly prospect down the road if you're not careful.</p> <p>Take a look at these common <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">car repair</a> mistakes that you'll want to avoid lest you want your wallet running on empty.</p> <h2>1. Using a Discount Mechanic</h2> <p>We all want to save a few bucks on car repairs, especially if what needs to be replaced is already expensive. But just like all doctors and lawyers are not created equal, neither are mechanics &mdash; and it's in your best financial interest to know the difference. My rule of thumb when cost is a concern is generally to go middle of the road &mdash; not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but somewhere in the middle. I compare prices between service providers, consider online reviews, and also ask friends and families for referrals.</p> <p>Rob Infantino, CEO of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.openbay.com/">Openbay</a>, an app to compare, book, and pay for car repairs, seconds that philosophy.</p> <p>&quot;Choose a shop that's convenient to you and that's well rated,&quot; he says. &quot;If you chase the lowest price, you may not necessarily receive quality service. Corroborate the shop reviews on multiple sites, including Google, Openbay, and Yelp. Car repair can be a nuisance, so be sure the job's done once and done well. You don't want to have to head back to have a poor repair job fixed by someone else.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Filling the Engine With the Incorrect Weight/Type of Oil</h2> <p>My problem wasn't necessarily filling my car engines with the incorrect weight or type of oil (because, frankly, I had no idea that even mattered), but rather that I didn't fill the engine with oil very often, if at all. And because of that, you could totally hear me coming from three blocks away.</p> <p>Richard Reina, training director at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.carid.com">CARiD</a>, advises against that practice, of course, but also provides insight on why you ought to mind the oil you're using, especially in terms of weight and type.</p> <p>&quot;While this won't generally cause any catastrophic engine failure, using incorrect oil will cause your engine to run inefficiently and deteriorate over time,&quot; he says. &quot;Make sure to pay attention to the type of oil your vehicle recommends &mdash; synthetic, partial synthetic, or non-synthetic &mdash; and that you use the correct weight (i.e. 10W-30, 0W-40, 5W-20, etc.) for your vehicle and climate, and don't just choose what's on sale.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Skipping the Oil Change Altogether</h2> <p>This is pretty much how I blew up most of my cars' engines, as you've likely gathered by now. Perhaps I assumed the oil change fairy would swoop down in the middle of the night so I didn't have to worry about it? Things are a bit blurry from back then. In hindsight, I could have saved my parents, myself, and my college's campus safety department a world of hassle if I had just taken 30 minutes out of my day a few times a year to pop into a Jiffy Lube.</p> <h2>4. Letting Dirty Filters Go Unchanged</h2> <p>Air and fuel filters are an important part of your car's anatomy that when left unattended can lead to bigger problems. As Bankrate.com puts it, &quot;Dirty air or fuel filters can cause various sensors on a car to fail, resulting in a repair bill of hundreds of dollars. A failed sensor is a common reason for a 'check engine' light to illuminate and also results in the engine misfiring. Ignoring this problem could cause the larger problem of the catalytic converter failing, which would result in the car not passing an emissions inspection until it is repaired at a cost approaching $1,000 for many cars.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Forgoing Scheduled Maintenance</h2> <p>Believe it or not, you car manual has another purpose besides taking up space in your glove compartment. It contains everything you need to know about your car (including some DIY fixes for common car issues that can save you money if you just crack it open), as well as information on when you should have your car inspected and tuned up. Following these instructions gives your car the best chance for maximum longevity &mdash; without costly repairs at every corner &mdash; which, in the long run, can save you thousands of dollars on maintenance and the need to buy a new car prematurely.</p> <h2>6. Forgetting to Rotate Tires and Check Air Pressure</h2> <p>Not rotating your tires or checking your air pressure on a regular basis can cause uneven tread wear and the deterioration of your tires, which leads to many other potential problems including strain on steering and suspension parts (such as tie rod ends), uneven traction, and vibration when driving.</p> <p>&quot;Most shops will rotate your tires for a nominal fee, or you can do this yourself if you have a jack and jack stand at home,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Air pressure can be easily checked at most local gas stations.&quot;</p> <p>And remember, air temperature affects tire inflation, so even if your tires do not leak air, they will still need to be checked as the weather changes throughout the year.</p> <h2>7. Overlooking Wear on Brake Pads</h2> <p>Do people cringe when you turn a corner? Can't figure out what that screeching sound is when you come to a stop sign? That's actually your brakes crying for help, and you should have that looked at before you become a nuisance to your whole neighborhood, or, ya know, have an accident.</p> <p>&quot;By replacing brake pads on a regular basis, you can actually save money since a brake rotor lasts much longer when pads are changed regularly,&quot; Reina says. &quot;If pads are left until they are completely worn, they will scratch and score the rotor. When changing brakes, the most expensive part of the job is the rotors, so preserving them will save money in the long run.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Neglecting Brake, Transmission, and Other Fluids</h2> <p>One word: Antifreeze. I didn't learn it until it was too late, but there's still hope for you. In addition to winterizing your car with antifreeze, however, there are other fluids your car needs besides fuel to run efficiently. You can check your owner's manual for the list of fluids and their respective change schedules to stay on top of things. Most importantly, you can save yourself money on the front <em>and</em> backend by doing it yourself. Most of these fluids are easy to replace by even the most clueless of drivers; I'm living proof. If you're not completely sure what you're doing, ask one of your more rugged friends. They probably know what's up, and they won't mind helping out &mdash; so long as they can laugh at you a little bit first.</p> <p><em>Are there other costly but common car repair mistakes that you'd like to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-calculate-your-new-car-budget">7 Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto repairs brakes engine mechanics tires vehicles Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1534338 at http://www.wisebread.com Haircuts to Dentistry and More: Get Low-Cost Services From Students http://www.wisebread.com/haircuts-to-dentistry-and-more-get-low-cost-services-from-students <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/haircuts-to-dentistry-and-more-get-low-cost-services-from-students" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/barber_school.jpg" alt="Barber School" title="Barber School" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="131" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You need your teeth cleaned. You need a haircut. You really want a massage to get rid of the tightness in your back and shoulders. You don&rsquo;t, however, have the scratch to make any of this happen. What you might not know is that a surprising number of services can be had on the cheap by getting them from students rather than accomplished masters of the trade. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-ways-to-whiten-your-teeth">The Best Ways to Whiten Your Teeth</a>)</p> <h3>Why You&nbsp;Can Trust Students</h3> <p>You might be a little reticent about getting a root canal from a student dentist. I&rsquo;d even understand if you were worried about getting a haircut from an apprentice barber. However, your fears are largely unfounded. The truth about students providing services?</p> <ul> <li>They&rsquo;ve already clocked enough hours of classroom learning and hands-on training to qualify for performing services for the public.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>They&rsquo;re carefully supervised by their teachers. This is especially true of professional hopefuls like student dentists. In this case, the students often have a DDS hovering over at all times calling the shots while they perform the manual labor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Their careers are on the line. Even the smallest mistake at this point can completely ruin a student&rsquo;s future. They have a lot more at stake than a bad haircut or even, for that matter, a botched wisdom tooth extraction.</li> </ul> <h3>What Services Can You Get?</h3> <p>Just about every school teaching a trade has to have some way for students to learn their trade by doing the real thing. Examples of things you can get done by students include:</p> <ul> <li>Hair cutting and coloring</li> <li>Dental work</li> <li>Massages</li> <li>Auto repair and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">auto body work</a></li> <li>Catering and meals</li> </ul> <p>Finding services in your area is generally not as simple as logging on to Google, however. Search terms for &ldquo;student services&rdquo; generally yield more results about what options there are for students than what options exist for you.</p> <h3>So How Do You Find Cheap Student Services?</h3> <p>The best way to find cheap services from students and trainees is to inquire at local colleges and trade schools. Give a call to the department head of the relevant discipline or just call the main desk and ask what services the school provides, if any. Then ask how you can become a guinea pig for students... actually, you might want to avoid the phrase &ldquo;guinea pig,&rdquo; but otherwise the process is the same. Often medical schools, hairdressing schools, and dentistry schools have price lists on their website for people coming in for students to train on. In other cases, you might need to do a bit of legwork.</p> <p>Alternately, you can try searching for the specific service you want, i.e. &ldquo;student barber&rdquo; or &ldquo;student dentist.&rdquo; If you live in a city of any size, chances are quite good that most of the services you currently pay top dollar for can be had significantly cheaper than what you&rsquo;re currently paying.</p> <h3>Is It Worth It?</h3> <p>Whether or not it&rsquo;s worth it depends a lot on what your definition of &ldquo;worth it&rdquo; is. If you&rsquo;ve desperately got to get dental work done, this is a no brainer. If you&rsquo;re the type of person who doesn&rsquo;t get too attached to her hairdresser and isn&rsquo;t that particular about her haircut, by all means start going to a student beautician. If you&rsquo;ve just got to get your car back on the road, give a call to the local trade school and see what you can work out.</p> <p>Remember that the services offered by students aren&rsquo;t always on the same level as the experienced pros. However, you might not be able to tell the difference. The best advice I can give you is try out some student services and see how they work for you. If you like what you&rsquo;re getting, keep saving money. If you don&rsquo;t, find other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources">ways to save money</a> in your budget.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/haircuts-to-dentistry-and-more-get-low-cost-services-from-students">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free">8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-spa-treatments-you-can-do-at-home">10 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle auto repairs dentist hair cuts massage Wed, 07 Dec 2011 11:24:15 +0000 Nicholas Pell 814675 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Car Maintenance With These 5 DIY Tips http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-maintenance-with-these-5-diy-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-car-maintenance-with-these-5-diy-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3643274326_b40b6a422b_b.jpg" alt="car maintenance" title="car maintenance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may wonder if you're being taken for a ride every time you fork over a wad of cash for a car maintenance procedure that only took the <a title="4 Ways to Find a Reputable Mechanic" href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic">mechanic</a> two minutes. If you're also someone who can't make toast without a fire extinguisher at hand, however, you may think there's no way around it.</p> <p>But truthfully, there are some maintenance tasks that are simple enough for even a novice, so why not save the dough instead? Here are five simple tasks that require only a little time, a little knowledge, and a few specialized tools. (See also: <a title="5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>1. Change Your Windshield Wiper Blades</h2> <p>Don't you hate the screech of worn-out windshield wiper blades and the streaks they leave behind on your car's windshield? Well hate no more, because changing them is a snap.</p> <p>Usually there's no cost for the labor involved in changing a windshield wiper blade, but that's because you buy the blades at the auto shop. By replacing them at home, you can scout around for a deal first. And lo and behold, <a title="Advance Auto Parts" href="http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home___">Advance Auto Parts</a> currently cuts 20% off sitewide via coupon code &quot;P20&quot;. (Or click for a list of additional <a title="Advance Auto Parts coupons" href="http://dealnews.com/Advance-Auto-Parts-coupons-20-off-no-minimum-10-off-30-more-/484744.html?eref=wisebread">dollar-off codes</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Tools You'll Need:</strong> A flat-blade screwdriver.</p> <p><strong>Parts You'll Need:</strong> New windshield wiper blades (obviously), but don't forget the rear window blade if you have one. Be aware that the two front windshield blades could be different sizes. Know your make, model, and year of your car before buying. Also, you might as well buy a gallon of windshield wiper fluid while you're at it.</p> <p><strong>The Fix:</strong> Most windshield wiper blades snap on and off. First, pull the blade upright, so that it stands clear of your windshield. At the midpoint, you'll see where it hinges into a crook. There should be a release pin or clip there that you can push or pry up; use the screwdriver if you have to pry.</p> <p>Once you do this, the blade should slide out and be free of the crook. Insert the new blade into the crook the same way the old one was oriented, then push until it locks. Lower the blade assembly to the windshield, and you're done. It's that simple.</p> <p>Then fill your windshield washer reservoirs. There will be one in the engine compartment, usually near the rear. If you have a rear window wiper, there may be a separate reservoir that you will need to fill in the back of the vehicle.</p> <h2>2. Replace Your Fuses</h2> <p>The electrical system in a car has numerous fuses designed to burn out when the current spikes, protecting more expensive systems in your car. If something on your car abruptly quits working, such as your car radio, headlights, or wipers, you may have a blown fuse. Luckily, these are usually a snap to replace.</p> <p><strong>Tools You'll Need:</strong> A pair of pliers, or even better, a plier-like device known as a <a title="fuse puller" href="http://www.amazon.com/Littelfuse-Fuse-Puller-00970023Xp-Holders/dp/B002NZUJW4/ref=lh_ni_t">fuse puller</a>. A <a title="flashlight" href="http://www.meritline.com/5-in-1-led-flashlight---p-35832.aspx">flashlight</a> might also come in handy.</p> <p><strong>Parts You'll Need:</strong> Replacement fuses are dirt cheap; this bundle of fuses ranges from 5 to 30 amps. Check your owner's manual for the correct type for your car. (Most use blade mini-fuses.)</p> <p><strong>The Fix:</strong> First, make sure the car is turned off. Then, consult your owner's manual to locate which fuse controls the system that's not working properly. Unfortunately, the fuse box is often positioned under the dashboard, requiring some yoga-like contortions to view.</p> <p>Once you locate the fuse you suspect is bad, pull it and examine it closely; if the wire running through the center of the fuse is broken, it's bad and you should replace it with one rated for the same amperage. But regardless, when in doubt, replace it; the per-unit cost of the fuses is negligible.</p> <h2>3. Replace Your Air Filter</h2> <p>A dirty air filter is to your car what pneumonia is to your body, and it robs your car of air and reduces your mileage. Replacing it is a very cheap way to make your ride more efficient.</p> <p><strong>Tools You'll Need:</strong> A flat-blade screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. The <a title="adjustable wrench" href="http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-85-610-10-Inch-MaxGrip-Adjustable/dp/product-description/B00009OYGZ/">Stanley 10&quot; MaxGrip Locking Adjustable Wrench</a> is a good all-purpose tool for working on cars.</p> <p><strong>Parts You'll Need:</strong> A replacement air filter for your make, model, year, and size of engine.</p> <p><strong>The Fix:</strong> Check your owner's manual for the location of your filter. It may be covered with a plastic shroud that is held down by a few plastic clips that you can flip, or it may be held in place with a nut on a long screw. Either way, remove the cover, and you should find the filter lying loose. Simply pick it up and put the replacement filter in the same position. Then replace the cover. Job done. Did we mention these were <em>simple</em> tasks?</p> <h2>4. Replace Your Battery</h2> <p>Many companies such as Autozone will <a title="battery test" href="http://www.autozone.com/autozone/landing/page.jsp?name=car-battery-summer-preparation">test your current battery</a> free of charge (no pun intended), so you have no excuse if you're stranded on a cold February night because you put off testing and installing a new one.</p> <p><strong>Tools You'll Need:</strong> A wire brush, like this <a target="battery brush" href="http://www.amazon.com/Lisle-11120-Battery-Brush/dp/B0009OMY92/">Lisle Battery Brush</a>, and an adjustable wrench.</p> <p><strong>Parts You'll Need:</strong> A new battery. Your parts store will help you select a battery that matches your car's requirements. Check to see if you can drop off the old one for recycling when you've finished replacing it.</p> <p><strong>The Fix:</strong> Turn off your car. Pop the hood, and, using your car's manual, locate the battery. It may be under a plastic housing, but most likely it will be conveniently placed.</p> <p>There are two cables connected to your battery: a black one (the ground, or negative) and a red one (the positive pole). Using the adjustable wrench, loosen and disconnect the black one first and pull it away, then disconnect the red one. Lift the battery out of the housing and set it aside. Keep it oriented upright, especially if it's not a sealed unit.</p> <p>Using your wire brush, clean the metal terminals of the black and red cables, both inside the clamp and outside. If they're corroded or dirty, clean them with a solution of baking soda and water.</p> <p>Then lower the new battery into position. Once secure, attach the red cable to the positive pole of the battery, then the black cable to the negative pole.</p> <h2><strong> </strong>5. Change Your Oil and Filter</h2> <p>Changing your own oil is not difficult and can save you a little cash to use on your next night out.</p> <p><strong>Tools You'll Need:</strong> An adjustable wrench, an <a title="oil filter wrench" href="http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Best-Universal-Filter-Wrench/dp/B000UD0CTQ">oil filter wrench</a>, an oil drain pan, a funnel, and perhaps a car jack and jack stands, like this <a title="jack stand" href="http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_x_10014620-P_x_x">Torin Jack Stand 2-Pack</a>.</p> <p><strong>Parts You'll Need:</strong> Oil (check how much your car holds), an oil filter, and a drain plug gasket.</p> <p>Before you begin, figure out if you can reach the oil pan drain plug without jacking up your car. The oil pan will be hanging off the bottom of your motor, and the drain plug will be located at the lowest part of it. If you can reach it without jacking your car up, it makes an oil change much easier (and you won't need the aforementioned jack stands).</p> <p>Start by running your car for a few minutes to warm the engine oil; this will allow it to drain more completely and quickly. Park your car on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Then, if necessary, begin by jacking your car up and placing jack stands on either side of the car. Never work under a car supported only by a single jack. Place the oil drain pan beneath the drain plug, then turn the plug counterclockwise with the adjustable wrench until it comes free. Be careful; the oil that comes gushing out will be warm. Let the car drain until it stops.</p> <p>Next, locate the oil filter. Using the oil filter wrench, loosen and remove the filter. Keep it tilted upright until you can empty any oil into the oil pan. Then replace the gasket on the drain plug and screw it into place, taking care to not over-tighten, which will cause the plug gasket to distort and allow oil to leak out. Rub the rubber gasket on the oil filter with a little clean oil for a better seal, then screw into place. If you have a good grip, hand-tightening should be enough. If not, snug it up with the oil filter wrench. Again, don't overdo it.</p> <p>Once the plug and filter are in place, locate the oil filler cap on top of the motor, remove it, and add oil to your engine using a funnel to prevent spillage. When done, use the jack and remove the stands, lowering the car to the ground. Run the car for a couple of minutes, then turn it off and check your dipstick to make sure it's filled to the height indicated. Also check for leaks under your car. Lastly, dispose of dirty oil properly; many oil change shops will accept it for recycling.</p> <p>If you've mastered these simple tasks, you may be ready to take on even more complicated ones, such as flushing and filling your coolant system or replacing your brake shoes. Who knows, maybe you've even tapped your inner grease monkey, and that alternate identity will emerge to save you a lot of money on car repairs.</p> <p>Another way to save? Always check <strong>Dealnews</strong> for discounts while shopping for parts and tools, like the aforementioned <a title="Advance Auto Parts" href="http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home___">Advance Auto Parts</a> code &quot;P20&quot; that takes 20% off sitewide. (Click for a list of additional <a title="Advance Auto Parts coupons" href="http://dealnews.com/Advance-Auto-Parts-coupons-20-off-no-minimum-10-off-30-more-/484744.html?eref=wisebread">dollar-off codes</a>.)<em> </em></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</em></p> <div align="center"> <p><script src="http://www.stumbleupon.com/hostedbadge.php?s=5"></script></p> </div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Some car maintenance tasks are simple enough even for novices. These tasks require only a little time, a little knowledge, and a few tools. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This post is by </em><a href="http://dealnews.com/" title="Dealnews"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-maintenance-with-these-5-diy-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/removing-car-scratches-the-revenge-of-the-frugal-body-shop">Removing Car Scratches: The Revenge of the Frugal Body Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation DIY auto repairs car maintenance oil change Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:24:16 +0000 Dealnews 652446 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car trouble.jpg" alt="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" title="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Car trouble is so often the worst kind of trouble.</p> <p>Few things can rip a hole in your budget so rapidly and so thoroughly. A new transmission (~$2,500) or rack and pinion (~$1,000) can wipe out a rainy day fund in one cruel clank or clunk. And it's these types of unexpected problems that make mechanical breakdown insurance so tantalizing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on&nbsp;Car Insurance</a>)</p> <p>The question, as with most forms of insurance &mdash; is the gamble worth it?</p> <h3>What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) can insulate consumers against big-ticket car repair costs. This is not an extended warranty or anything of the sort. Instead, this is a typically inexpensive form of insurance that is subject to the same regulatory controls as other insurance products.</p> <p>These policies don't cover defects or issues that arise from standard maintenance issues, but they can be a financial lifeline if catastrophe strikes. Consumers tend to pay reasonable premiums (anywhere from $75 and up) and have deductibles ranging from $50 to $500 or more, depending on the details of the plan and the age of the automobile. Insurers favor consumers with newer vehicles or leased models. Those with older cars might be unable to procure MBI.</p> <p>Some plans also cover things like towing, car rental, and trip interruption. Terms can range from a year to more than a half dozen, or span tens of thousands of miles. Some policies are even transferable, which car owners can use as a selling point when the time comes to unload their vehicles.</p> <p>&ldquo;We all have cars, and we all know they end up breaking down,&rdquo; said Hank Coleman, managing editor at <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.org">InsuranceQuotes.org</a>. &ldquo;Insurance is always a hedge against future problems, and MBI can be a really savvy investment depending on your car and your coverage options. There's few policies that can match the universal need that MBI is setup to cover.&rdquo;</p> <h3>How Does It Work?</h3> <p>While MBI has some built-in safeguards as a legitimate insurance product, consumers should still take great pains to ensure they're getting a policy that meets their unique needs and covers theirs concerns.</p> <p>Consumers should be able to take their ailing auto to a repair shop of their choice. Avoid policies that try to limit, qualify, or otherwise restrict decisions related to who completes repair work. There should also be clear language explaining that your deductible payments are for visits to the repair shop and not required for every single repair.</p> <p>Remember, too, that this is breakdown insurance. Car equipment that becomes defective because of normal wear and tear over time isn&rsquo;t covered. Unless you have a warranty or extended service agreement, things like brake pads, shocks, and other parts will require out-of-pocket outlays.</p> <p>And what about warranties? Newer automobiles may come with a manufacturer warranty or service agreement that all but eliminates the need for MBI. It&rsquo;s important to evaluate a potential policy in light of existing warranties and their expirations.</p> <h3>Why Get Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>For some consumers, it might make more sense to simply tuck away a few extra dollars each month in an auto <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>. Those who like having an added layer of protection can shop around for MBI. As an added bonus, those who purchase it when their car is new tend to enjoy lower rates as the years go on.</p> <p>In the end, though, it&rsquo;s typically one of those peace-of-mind purchases.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto repairs breakdowns car insurance Thu, 19 May 2011 10:24:32 +0000 Chris Birk 545426 at http://www.wisebread.com