Easy ways to save money on your car’s maintenance

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — America is a car culture and vehicles are important to people. They are how moms and dads get the kids to soccer practice, and a daily part of the lives of Tampa Bay residents

With many people heading out of town for the upcoming holidays it’s important to have vehicles in top shape for a long drive. Performing minor preventative maintenance on a vehicle can save you money and time in costly repairs down the road.

AAA reports the average person spends about $800 annually on vehicle maintenance. Working on a vehicle can sound intimidating, but WFLA Reporter Leslee Lacey found that simple maintenance is easy and cheap.

Leslee met up with Hillsborough Community College automotive instructor Mario Mirabal who showed her easy ways to save by changing air filters and checking fluids herself.

“You’re definitely gonna save money doing it yourself, an air filter might cost ten to $12 dollars at a local auto parts store. Might take you 20 min tops, if that,” said Automotive Instructor Mario Mirabal.

Mario then showed Leslee how to change a typical air filter under the hood.

“Undue those four screws and then the top half of the box should lift up and pop off and expose he air filter itself.

“I did it myself and it took just a minute,” said Leslee.

“Another filter that needs to be replaced is the cabin,” said Mario, referring to the air conditioning filter located inside the vehicle.

“To access this you’re gonna have to remove the glove box on most vehicles. Most will have clips others you simply push down and the glove box will fold down and allow you to come in and grab the filter and slide the filter out,” explained Mario.

Leslee discovered she would save between $35 to $87 by changing her own air filters.

Mario says the owner’s manual is a great source of information and sometimes instruction. It should show you where everything is located and may explain how to perform minor maintenance.

“Keeping your engine lubricated can prevent some serious damage. Check the oil. And also, nowadays you will find the type of oil on many of the caps,” said Leslee.

Also check your wiper fluid and your brake fluid.

“Unlike the oil, you’re transmission fluid is typically checked with your vehicle running,” Leslee added.

And lastly, make sure you know what your vehicle looks like under the hood. That way, you will know if something doesn’t look normal.

Vehicles differ greatly. Mario said that the internet is a great resource for maintenance information. You Tube has a wide variety of videos for vehicles. There are also online forums where you can ask questions.

You should also ask your dealer or mechanic if your vehicle has any unusual maintenance requirements.

Follow Leslee Lacey on Facebook

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