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 #1 Oil Changes / Leaks

For most car owners the mantra is 'change your oil every 3000 miles' - but depending on your car (German car owners I'm looking at you) you might go 5000 or 10,000k miles if your engine is built specially for synthetic oil. Regardless, you could bring your car into one of those cheap fast-lube places and risk them not replacing your oil drain plug correctly, or stripping it (a higher cost down the line) or in some reported cases not even replacing your oil filter. We think though, that it's better to fork over 40 bucks or so to a dependable mechanic to have it done. German auto owners may have to fork over around 100 at the dealer though.Even better? Just learn how to do it yourself. An oil leak is a little more of a problem, but your mechanic can put a dye in your car to see where the leak stems from. It is normal for some cars to leak a small bit of oil over thousands of miles so the general rule is to check your oil every other gas fill up. LEARN MORE >>

#2 Brakes

Depending on what kind of pads you've put on your car, your brake pads are going to have to be replaced. Rotors typically last about four brake pad changes -but for the most part the only reason rotors go bad are if you neglected to change your pads in the first place.Fortunately you've either taken a look at your pads on a regular basis, or the brake pad sensor has gone off, and you replaced them before they destroyed the rotors. Brake pad replacement is actually quite easy and most car maintenance manuals show you step-by-step how to do it. LEARN MORE >

#3 Battery or Electrical Issue

We've all had a dead battery. Sometimes we just can't get it to jump back up to life either because it's an old battery or just a really cheap one. Battery replacements are easy enough to do yourself, just always, ALWAYS buy the best battery, no matter the price.Other electrical issues may stem from spark plugs which go bad anywhere between 60k-100k miles depending on what type are in your engine or bad ignition/plug wires. LEARN MORE >>

#4 O2 Sensor

The O2 Sensor is one the major reasons your check engine light comes on. O2 sensors usually die out by rusting to death. You're car will need one eventually, but it's a fairly common repair and if you have a domestic or Japanese car, you probably won't pay too much to replace one. If you have a euro car, it might break your wallet a bit more. You can usuallyfind a universal O2 sensor for between 30-80 bucks and do it yourself - though if you're trying to do it on say, a Mini Cooper, unless you have a lift, you may have some trouble squeezing under your car to get at the sensor. LEARN MORE >>

#5 Tires

Tires can last a really, really long time, but that doesn't mean you should keep your tires on if they are wearing out. Think about it: tires are the ONLY thing connecting your car to the road, so why risk putting on cheap-o budget tires, or leaving tires on which are worn or cracked? Make sure you are rotating your tires on a regular basis (every two oil changes) and keeping them at their proper PSIs (check your manual or door jamb to know how much PSI your car's tires need). Expect to pay quite a bit for good tires, but also try to find a shop that will match online prices so you can find yourself a good deal. Also look for a shop which will give you lifetime rotations, balancing and other maintenance on your tires. Sometimes they will even give you warranties. Try to buy all four tires at once so they all wear the same way and at the same rate. LEARN MORE >>