You've no doubt seen the steady flow of car-related goods on dealnews, such as the discount currently offered by Advance Auto Parts for 20% off all purchases with no minimum. Finding a good deal on parts, however, is only the first step in saving yourself a nice chunk of change. Learn how to take care of your simplest car maintenance tasks yourself and you'll find it rewards both your pocketbook and sense of accomplishment.
Here are five savvy purchases that can save you money down the road, and where you can find deals on them.
1. Service Manual
If you have any intention of doing some of your own car maintenance and repair, one purchase that can return your investment many-fold is a detailed car manual such as those sold by Haynes, Chilton or the original manufacturer. With a good manual, even the novice can handle simple procedures like replacing fuses and dead headlights, changing air filters, and even changing the oil. An example of such a manual is the Haynes Repair Manual for a 2007 Honda Accord, which has a list price of $24.95, but you can get it on sale at various retailers, including Advance for 20% off. Manual in hand, it's time to start shopping for supplies you'll need to save some real dough.
Your car uses fuses to protect your electrical equipment, including the lights and controls on your dashboard. When one of these fuses burns out, replacing it is as easy as changing a light bulb — if you have a replacement fuse. Check your car manual for the type and size fuses to keep on hand. If your car or truck uses mini blade fuses, look for deals on assortments such as the Performance Tools 30-Piece Fuse Set which has a regular price of $4.99 and would be just $3.99 with the Advance coupon.
3. Windshield Wiper Blades
Annoyed by the constant screech of worn-out windshield wipers? Tired of trying to peer through the thinnest streak on a muddy windshield? Don't pay some oil jockey to replace them at double the cost; changing your own can be a snap. Looking for a deal? You're in luck; Anco is offering a rebate on its blades until May 31. Download the rebate coupon here. For video instructions on how to change a wiper blade, check out this YouTube tutorial.
If you just want to fill up one cart, you can also get blades online at other auto parts stores, like this package of Trico NeoForm Wiper Blades, which would be $13.60 after Advance's 20% off discount.
4. Air Filter
If you've ever had your oil changed at a fast-service shop you've no doubt been shown your air filter, most likely with the recommendation that you have it changed. Good advice — a clogged air filter can turn your street machine into an asthmatic gas guzzler. Changing your own air filter is usually as easy as removing one nut or popping open a couple of plastic clips.
Pick up the right air filter for your car, and a few spares, and then you won't forget to change it.
5. Oil Change Supplies
Performing your own oil change isn't that difficult, especially with a manual and a few specialized tools. Now could be the right time to invest in what you need so that over the lifetime of driving you can save hundreds of dollars.
The first thing you'll need is oil and an oil filter. Luckily, Mobil 1 is offering a rebate for $12 off a purchase of five quarts of its oil and a filter.
For most, but not all, cars and trucks, you'll need to jack up the vehicle to reach the oil drain plug and filter. A good two-ton trolley jack and jack stands are the safe way to go, and will allow you to easily take on more complicated tasks such as flushing and refilling your radiator or changing your brake pads.