How to Budget For Car Repairs: 11 Useful Tips

Is your budget happy when it comes to car repair?

When you have a car, it’s important to think about its repairs. And if you understand that, you will start saving money in case of an emergency. Have you seen the prices lately? In 2022, you will pay about $400 to replace the ignition coil and the spark plugs. That’s a lot!

The price ranges from around $20 all the way to almost $1,500 that’s why you need to prepare your budget accordingly. It’s not easy, but if you read our article, you’ll become an expert.

1. Save up an emergency fund

It’s always better to be ready in case something bad happens. In this case, you’ll never know when your car will need some repairs. Start saving money with baby steps. If you have an emergency fund, you are miles away from getting financially smashed in. The way you start saving for this fund is by putting it in your budget.

If you’re in debt, it will be a bit more complicated to save a lot of money, but there’s no rush. Try to save as much as possible every month.

2. Oil Change

This may be the most iconic routine when it comes to car maintenance. You have to clean engine oil because this is how you will keep your car running smoothly. If you don’t do that properly and often enough, it will lead to engine problems. If you want to keep your car safe but also stick to a budget, you can change the oil by yourself.

Be careful because the whole process might be a bit messy.

3. Tire replacement

The tires are basically your car’s point of contact with the road, and it’s obvious that you should keep them in good shape. Tires are meant to help you with traction and also keep your car safe. If you use your vehicle daily, they might wear down, at which point you should replace them with new ones.

Unfortunately, this will mess up your budget a bit because the prices vary based on the type of vehicle you drive. If you have a big car, expect to pay more for the tires. Keep in mind that having periodic tire rotation can actually prevent uneven wear on the tires. That means you can wait a bit longer until replacing them again.

Photo by Virrage Images From Shutterstock

4. Create a car repair sinking fund in your budget

Your car is broken, and you need a lot of money to repair it. But what if you don’t have the money you need at this very moment? It can happen. That’s why you need to have a sinking fund in your budget. Think about this: saving money is not fun, but it’s a healthy habit for sure. Try to be ahead of anything and save some money in a smarter way.

Even if you have a good car, at some point it will require some maintenance, and it’s a good idea to have some money in case something unexpected happens. This sinking fund makes you budget-ready no matter what car you have.

5. Brake Maintenance

This may be the hardest working system in your car. That’s why it’s a pain in the neck when it starts to break down. It can require periodic maintenance, and you should check it at least every two years.

One of the two most common items of brake maintenance is getting a brake fluid flush and replacing brake pads. Usually, the average cost for this is around $200.

How often do you check your brake system? Do you save money in your budget for this kind of emergency?

TIP: Don’t forget to check the heating system before the winter season to make sure everything is in good shape. The average cost of this checkup will be no more than $80. 

6. Adjust your budget for the current situation

Think about your last year’s expenses and see what changed in your current budget. Try to adjust it to the current condition of your car. If it’s an old car, you have to be aware of the fact that it may need more repairs compared to a new one. Consider doubling or even tripling the amount you save each month. If last year you used to save $50 per month, consider putting aside $150 this year.

If you bought your car last year, you can be relax, at least for a while. But it’s still smart to put aside some money in case something happens in the future. Stick with $50 or slightly more if your budget allows you to.

Photo by Standret From Shutterstock

7. Keep the air filter clean

This actually keeps all the pollutants away, and it’s better to keep them clean by changing the filter every 12 months. You will have a better experience when you turn on the air conditioning, especially if you have asthma or any other breathing problem. This check-up is pretty budget-friendly and can be easily made by yourself.

8. Wheel alignment

Having the wheels properly aligned is very important for the proper motion of the vehicle. They are usually set to very specific angles, which you cannot achieve on your own. That’s why it’s recommended to have a wheel alignment every time you change your tires. It won’t cost you a fortune, but $70 will burn a hole your budget in the blink of an eye.

Take care of your car and do regular maintenance!

9. Check the manual’s directions

You don’t know how to do certain things? No worries, because you can check the manual. For every issue you’ll encounter, the car’s manual has a solution.

How often do you read the manual? Are you aware of every tiny issue your car might have?

10. It’s Never Too Late To Start Saving

Keeping your car in good condition is mandatory, but this will cost you some money. Starting to save now will help eliminate the financial stress of unforeseen repairs.

Calculate how much you can save from your monthly budget and see what you need to change in the next few months. Try to write everything down because this will help you make a better plan for your savings.

Remember: it’s never too late to start saving!

11. Don’t let car maintenance catch you by surprise

Your car broke down and you are scared and panicked. How about you don’t go through this anymore? Put aside some money each month, so the next time something breaks, you’ll already be prepared.

You will feel amazing because your budget won’t suffer and the money you saved will be ready to be spent for its exact purpose.

How much money do you save each month for your car’s maintenance? Tell us in the comments. We are happy to learn about more tips and tricks about budgeting.


Maybe all this budget topic overwhelms you, but you don’t need to panic over this! You don’t have to go broke trying to save for unexpected repairs or annual maintenance. Try to keep all the emergency repair money aside from the maintenance budget so you can be well prepared for both situations.

If you’re looking for more budgeting tips, make sure you subscribe to our page. We have a lot of articles like this! Today’s suggestion for you is: Wondering If You’re Losing Money? You ARE by Throwing Away These 7 Things.


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