How To

Navigating the auto parts store

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Like most families, you are likely looking for ways to stretch your budget. One of the best ways to do so is by investing in the maintenance and care of your vehicle. For those looking to increase the life of their car, the solution can be found at the local auto parts store.

While the technology used in today’s vehicles may make repairs seem impossible, even the smallest fixes can greatly enhance performance, plus ease the strain on your pocketbook.

Others fear that doing work on their car will void the warranty, but this is not the case. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that protects it regardless of who does the auto repair. Fixing your car is a rewarding experience, giving you a sense of pride for not only learning something new, but accomplishing the task all on your own.

Start small
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, learn the simple jobs first. These tasks can include checking fluids, replacing air filters and changing the oil. The experiences learned starting small will give you the tools and know-how to tackle larger jobs.

The experts at the Car Care Council offer these tips for making the most of your budget and your trip to the local auto parts retailer.

Enhance appearance
Because household cleaners can harm the interior and exterior surfaces of your car, it’s important to invest in the proper tools to give it a showroom shine.

Simple repairs made easy
Whether you need to replace your windshield wipers or a light bulb, your local parts store has what you need to fix it yourself. Many also include catalogs or digital kiosks to assist you in finding the right part for your car. If you should have any questions, an auto parts counter person can assist.

Stock up on DIY products
The parts store makes it easy to keep important maintenance items in stock at home. For example, transmission fluid, oil, brake fluid and coolant are all valuable items to have on hand.

Tackle bigger repairs
Once you’re ready to fix more involved repairs on your own, there are a few things you should know. The auto parts counter staff will ask for information, such as the make, model and year of your vehicle, as well as what kind of engine it uses. All of this information can be found in your owner’s manual. From here, your parts person will help you get what you need to do the job right.

Personalize your ride
From floor mats to fuzzy dice, your local parts store also has everything you need to personalize your automobile and make a statement.

Being familiar with your local auto parts store is the first step in enhancing the life of your car, plus it saves you a little cash along the way. For more tips to keep your car performing its best, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Car Care Council

Jeremiah can change your oil, fix your computer and quote every line from the Star Wars films, like the Renaissance Man that he is. He's the proud parent of two Great Danes and one daughter.