Keeping your vehicle well-maintained isn’t inexpensive. AAA estimates that, based on driving 15,000 miles a year, average annual maintenance costs for a medium-size sedan or medium-sized SUV would be around $1,400—and that’s on a newer vehicle. Here are a few tips for keeping those car costs down.

The most effective way to keep repair costs down is to avoid them in the first place. Follow the schedule in your owner’s manual for tasks such as oil changes and tire rotations. If your vehicle provides maintenance reminders (such as dashboard alerts), have those services performed as soon as you’re prompted. (If you’re not sure what all of the alerts mean, you can learn more about them.)

Delaying service can increase vehicle wear and tear, potentially causing long-term damage that’s more expensive to fix. And if you’re not sure what kind of service your car needs, AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities offer members a free vehicle maintenance inspection upon request—a $50 value and a valuable tool for identifying potential problems.

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AAA.com/AutoRepair is a valuable resource, where you can find information on more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. You can narrow your search by facility type and distance from your location to find the shop that best fits your needs. Facilities are regularly inspected by AAA to meet stringent standards, and AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities employ ASE-certified technicians to fix it right the first time.

To give you even more confidence, all repairs for AAA Members include a 24-month/24,000-mile guarantee on parts and labor. A note on warranties: Check with any shop you are considering about its warranty policy before service is performed. You’ll want to know what’s covered, and for how long, should the problem resurface down the road.

The more you know about the potential cost of your auto repairs, the better prepared you’ll be to visit with your mechanic. Whether the job involves routine maintenance or more involved repairs, AAA can provide you with an estimate of the cost. Included in the estimate are breakdowns for parts, labor and the AAA Member discount available at all AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.

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AAA Members receive exclusive member savings of 10% off labor (save up to $50) at all AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. Members can also reduce fuel costs by saving at least 5¢ per gallon at Shell when you join the Fuel Rewards® Program (terms apply).

Want to learn more about your car’s fuel? Check out our quiz.

If you like doing your own maintenance and minor repairs, take advantage of AAA Discounts at partners such as NAPA Auto Parts, where AAA Members save 10% on most items. (Always let the skilled technicians at a quality repair shop handle complicated repairs.)

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Save on Car Care

AAA can help you locate an Approved Auto Repair facility near you. AAA Members save 10% on labor (save up to $50) and get 24-month/24,000-mile warranties and guarantees.