Thrifty Tips of the Week

The Homemaker's Journal

Car Repair from Vocational School

We have a vocational school near us and have had our car repairs done there for a fraction of the cost that it cost at a repair shop. The only difference was that since it is a school it took a little longer but the savings was well worth the wait. The work is by students overseen by the instructors. We see it as a help to all involved; they get to work on cars and learn, we get to save cash for other fun things! Sue from Mass.


Homemade Car Wax

This isn't really a car repair tip, but I have a great recipe for homemade car wax. It can be used on just about any vehicle you want to protect and add shine to.


  • 1 c carnauba wax OR 1 c coconut oil
  • 1 c beeswax
  • 1/4 c olive oil

Blend ingredients, then slowly melt them and pour mixture into a tin or a short jar. Use as any other paste wax is used.

Pamela Reilly - Pleasing Odors Creations

Use Synthetic Oil

Dh said to use the synthetic oil in their vehicles and they will last better longer. Also, check your oil and your tire pressure, and do preventative maintenance to avoid a lot of expensive repair bills.

Less Expensive Paint Job

Well, I don't know if this is the area of car repairs you want but mine has to do with making the car look better. I have an old 1988 car that is in great mechanical shape. The problem was that it looked terrible. We had had it professionally painted 3 and 1/2 years ago and they did a terrible job (no longer in business, gosh I wonder why?). This time we painted it. But not car paint. We bought Tractor Paint, and used a small roller and painted it. I used the painter's green tape to tape off areas that I didn't want painted and we did it. We put on 3 coats of paint and it looks wonderful! The price was 27 dollars for a quart of paint; that did the sides of my car where the other paint chipped off, and I still have some for touch ups. I used ford tractor grey, and we bought it at the farm implement shop! The rest of the car is white, and I put on black pin striping that cost $18 for a 100 foot roll. Oh, you would never know that the paint was rolled on; it's as smooth and shinny as the spray painted job. I am one happy camper.



Preventive Maintenance

Avoid costly repairs by maintaining your vehicle. My husband is a mechanic but I check the oil, air filter and tire pressure on my car. Read your manual and follow up on the routine maintenance. If you are not the mechanic type (or even if you are) take it to Jiffy Lube or wherever and GET THE OIL CHANGED!!! Ask the mechanic there to show you how to check the oil and other fluids. Believe me, it costs a lot less than replacing an engine.
Marti Jerny SAHM of 3

Gas Savings

I don't know how much money this actually saves, but it makes sense. It was recommended to me that when I finish filling my car's gas tank and the tank has stopped pumping, to keep the handle compressed while lifting the hose up into the air so that the gasoline in the hose flows into the car's gas tank.


Pamela Reilly Pleasing Odors Creations

Keep Battery in Good Condition

I've been having problems with the batteries leaking acid, so I found in the auto parts a red spray to put on the connector and it keeps the batteries running great.

With the gas prices so high, I try to keep my car in shape so it'll save some gas. I make sure the tires have the right amount of air; low air in your tires makes your car less efficient, with the right amount of air you save gas.

For parts, I really shop around even on the Internet. But if you don't mind replacing the part with a used part, you can buy parts at the junk yard as long that you can see they are in good condition and working well. They usually have parts for up to 60% less.

Mark your Calendar

Marking on your calendar the month that your cars are due for state inspections can be a money saving tip, so you don't get a ticket. My husband saves thousands of dollars on our cars by checking over things before taking the cars for inspections. I help him check the lights. If the windshield wipers need replaced, he purchases them at Advance Auto Parts and replaces them himself.. He also changes the oil himself, thus saving many dollars. He uses Ames Oil and that saves us money too.

About The Author:

copyright, 2003, The Homemaker's Journal

This Tip Sheet is the result of a question asked in the free daily newsletter, The Homemaker's Journal. The Homemaker's Journal is an e-mail newsletter that poses fun questions to readers about organizing, crafting, gardening, frugal living and other homemaking subjects; readers can respond to the questions and receive the resulting, very informative 'tip sheet', like this one.

If you'd like to join the fun, just send a blank e-mail to:

This weeks tips are compliments of The Homemakers Journal and include lots of car tips. Be sure to add your own or feedback to these ideas.


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