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Car Repair Coupons: 4 Types of Repairs to Save On

Feb 29, 2008
Car repair coupons are essentially like free money. Every car needs a certain amount of regular maintenance and repairs: oil changes and tune ups to keep it running its best, and replacement parts such as tires, brakes, batteries, and alternators as the old parts wear out. Since you already have to pay for these repairs anyway, these should be used to knock the cost of regular maintenance down a little.

Car repair coupons can be found in a lot of different places. Local auto repair shops often place advertisements and coupons in local newspapers, magazines, and other publications. Online coupon sites, such as Valpak are also a great resource for coupon clippers. Finally, many shops send out their own mailings or post their current specials right on their website. Here are the four types you are most likely to find.

1: Oil changes are the most frequent type of maintenance cars need. By about three thousand miles, the oil and oil filter in your engine start to wear out. Replacing the oil and filter regularly keeps your engine running smoothly, prevents harmful buildup inside your engine, and even helps to maintain optimal gas mileage. Dirty oil, on the other hand, creates buildup that can damage the engine, leads to dried-out and leaky seals and gaskets, and creates more resistance on the engine as it thickens -- causing your fuel bill to increase too.

Since oil changes are needed so frequently, there are tons of auto repair shops and quick lube places ready to compete for your business. Because of this, shops almost always include a coupon for a discounted oil change.

2: Tune Ups. After oil changes, tune ups are the next most common repair that car owners have to do: Tune ups typically should be done once a year, or every twenty or thirty thousand miles, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. A tune up typically includes replacing the air filter, the spark plugs, PCV valve, and the distributor cap and rotor; some parts only need to be replaced every two or three years, such as the oxygen sensor and the spark plug wires. The mechanic will also visually inspect the car's various systems to make sure everything is functioning correctly.

All of the potential replacements can make tune ups very expensive, particularly if the mechanic finds something wrong. Auto shops will give you a discount on at least the basic tune up, so that if something else turns out to be wrong, at least the bill won't hit you quite as hard.

3: Wheel alignment is another one of those things that you should have checked regularly. Most auto repair shops offer an inexpensive wheel alignment check that will tell you if you need your wheel alignment done. Proper wheel alignment produces the least amount of rolling resistance on your car, ensuring that you get the optimum gas mileage; it also causes the entire tread of the tires to make contact with the road as you drive, which spreads the wear out along the entire tread and helps your tires to last longer.

With the expensive but very precise equipment most repair shops use these days, wheel alignments can be pretty expensive. To compete with one another for your business, many repair shops will issue alignment coupons periodically, often offering a significant discount off the normal price.

4: New Tires. With the length of the average commute these days, most people end up needing to buy new tires every couple of years. Since tires can be pretty expensive, many tire shops and service centers send out mailings and print them in local papers. If you know you will need tires soon, be on the lookout for these coupons.

There are many other types of car repair coupons than the four listed above. These are just the most common. You'll notice as you hunt for coupons that you also find some for replacement windshields, bodywork, and even general repairs. In fact, it's not uncommon to find a coupon from an auto repair shop that simply states dollars off for any repair work made over a certain amount spent. You'll find that looking for discounts is like an Easter egg hunt. The coupons are all right there under your nose; you just have to look for them.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for DAE, which offers valuable car repair coupons for domestic car repair in the Houston area.
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