Nobody likes to pay for auto repair and if you can get something for free, why not do so. Luckily, in an effort to sell you parts, many auto parts stores will do some repairs for free. Here are some things that you can get done for free at many auto parts stores.
Free Code Check
Why pay a shop $60 to check your engine code when places like Autozone will do it for free.
Check engine lights or service engine soon lights go on from time to time to tell you to have the vehicle checked out. You should do so ASAP but don’t panic, these lights often go on for simple reasons or just for routine maintenance.
If you take your vehicle to a mechanic, you are taking their time and they will probably charge you, even if your car needs no work.
When you take your vehicle to an auto store for a code read, you have three possible outcomes, two of which save you money.
First, you might have nothing wrong with your vehicle and the code will just be turned off.
Two, your car might need routine maintenance such as a filter change or a part replaces. You can then buy the part at the auto parts store and they can probably show you how to replace it. They might even do it for you if it is slow.
Three, the code shows that a larger repair is needed and you will need to take your car to the mechanic.
The first two examples will save you a lot of money over the full price of a mechanic. Even option three is good though because you would be able to go to the mechanic with a good idea of what work needs to be done.
Free Charging System Testing
One of the most common problems that will occur with a vehicle is a charging problem.
When these things happen, it could be a lot of things. People assume that it is the battery but this is not always the case. Simply changing a battery can cost you $200 now and not even fix the problem Without testing the system, you could just be wasting money.
If you take your vehicle to a mechanic to inspect your system, it is going to cost you. Luckily, your local auto store may test your system for free. None of the components even have to come off of your car or truck for them to test it.
Free testing can allow you to know just what needs to be replaced. You can then take it to a mechanic, knowing just what it needs, or you can replace the part yourself.
Some stores such as Autozone take things one step further. If you simply left the lights on and drained your battery, they will charge it for free. Just bring it in and they will fast charge it in 30 minutes while you wait.
Free Wiper Blade & Bulb Replacement
Wiper blades and bulbs will go out often and need replacement. While they are rather simple to replace, if you do not do it often, it can be a bit tricky. Wiper blades in particular can be finicky when just doing the replacement blade and you need to replace them every 6 months.
Let someone who does it all of the time do the job and even better, let them do it for free. All that you have to do is buy the replacement parts there and most stores will put them on for no charge.
Free Tire Repair
Not all auto parts stores offer this but many, like Pep Boys, do. If you get a nail in the tire, why pay $20 to $30 to get it fixed when you can get it done for free at places like Pep Boys. They will even rotate your tires for no charge while they are at it.
If not having the right tool is making you head for the mechanic, you can start saving now. Auto parts stores often have free tools to loan. No longer will you have to purchase a 400 dollar tool to do a simple repair. Just buy the part at the auto store and get then borrow the tool for free.
This is a huge benefit because a lot of people would love to do their own auto repair, they just do not have the thousands of dollars in tools that a mechanic shop would.
So, why do auto parts stores offer you all of these great services for free? Of course there is a catch, there always is. They want to get you into the door to sell you parts and I am totally okay with that.
If you were to take your vehicle to an auto mechanic, you would have to pay for the same parts, only at a much higher markup.
So, stop going to the mechanic for these little repairs. There is a time and place to use the mechanic but start with the parts store if you can.