Save hundreds with these easy car care hacks

Keeping up with maintenance is key to keeping your car running smoothly and you could save hundreds of dollars by taking care of some of it yourself.

We used the site RepairPal to look up estimates for what it would cost to get some work done at a dealership or repair shop. We also went to an auto parts store to find the supplies needed to do the same work at home.

One of the most important steps to doing it yourself is making sure you get the right parts. Make sure you check the user guide/owner's manual or go to your car manufacturer's website to get information before buying supplies.

The estimate to replace windshield wipers on a 2016 Jeep Cherokee at a shop was $60 to 80. Wiper blades for the vehicle were as low as $11 each and it took just a few minutes to switch them out.

Changing a dirty or old air filter could cost about $70 at a shop, buying a replacement was $20. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, you may need a few tools to open the air filter housing but once it's open, just swap the old one with the new filter.

If you've ever had a charger or radio that suddenly stopped working, before you spend between $90 to 115, check the fuse box. An owner's guide or quick online search can show you where to find the fuse box and which fuses are linked to different items. Pull out the fuse to see if it's blown and if it is, you can replace it for as little as $2 per fuse.

Another easy DIY option - topping off your vehicle fluids. This service is sometimes offered during other repairs at a shop, but if you want to do it yourself you can get brake and windshield wiper fluid for as little as $3 and antifreeze for around $10.

The total bill for supplies at the store was about $55. If you add up all the dealership/shop estimates, the total was between $200 to $300. Handling some of this work yourself could help you save.
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