How to Save Money on Car Maintenance

How much to service a car

Cars are an expensive purchase, and unfortunately the costs of owning a vehicle continue after buying one. All vehicles require maintenance to keep them running for as far and long as possible, and to ensure that they are safe to drive. It also pays to keep a car in tip top shape should you ever decide to trade in your car. If you purchased your car from a reputable car dealer, they might have included a service package in your vehicle purchase, in which case you would take it to them every so often for necessary maintenance. Otherwise, you can save on service costs by doing the project yourself. An oil change is a customary part of most car service, and it is something that most people can handle on their own. For those who are unsure how to service a car, here is how to complete the first step in the process.

How to Service a Car: Changing the Oil

  1. Get the Right Supplies- The first thing that any car owner needs to do before changing the oil is to go to an auto store and get the right parts for the job. Check the owner’s manual to see what type of oil and filter are recommended for your vehicle before heading out to the store. It is important to get oil and filters that the carmaker suggests, otherwise you could compromise the well-being of the engine.
  2. Drain the Oil – Once you have the right supplies, you can begin the process. First, jack up the car and lower it down onto the jack stands. Then unscrew the drain plug and allow the oil to drain into a pan. It may be helpful to let the car run for about 15 minutes first, as warm oil will flow more easily than cold oil.
  3. Change the Filter – While the oil is draining, take out the existing filter and set it aside. Apply a light coating of oil onto the gasket of the new filter, and then screw it back in with a wrench to replace the old filter. You don’t want to tighten the new filter too much or you could damage the screw thread.
  4. Refill the Engine With Oil – Once the oil has drained completely, which may take a while, replace the drain plug. Now you can begin to refill the engine with oil. Make sure to do so slowly, and keep an eye on the level of the dipstick to keep from overfilling the engine with oil. When you’ve finished, replace the oil cap and let the car run for 10 to 15 minutes, then recheck the oil level.

Any car owner can learn how to service a car, but many still choose not to. If you bought your car from an experienced car dealer who will do the service at a discounted price, or if you need custom car parts that you can only get from the dealer, having maintenance done at the dealer is a good idea. However, for those who are confident in their abilities and want to save some money, they should try to service their car on their own. More like this:

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