College Cars: 5 Ideas for Auto Repairs on a Budget

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  • When you’re in college, one of the things that doesn’t come by easily is money.

    Even if you have a job while in college, you likely have to use the money for food and supplies that are needed for the dorm or even rent and utilities if you live in an apartment or a house instead of on campus.

    An auto repair is just sometimes not in the budget.

    Fortunately, there are some ways that you can make your car last as long as possible without spending a lot of money.

    Driving Easy

    While you might want to increase your speed to get around everyone on the highway or want to show off your driving skills on the road, it’s best to take it easy with the car. Don’t give the car too much gas, and don’t try to get it to do things that it just doesn’t want to do, such as over-revving the motor. If you baby the car and treat it like a person instead of a vehicle, then you’ll find that it will usually last longer.


    At times, there will be someone who has a rock in a tire and sends it flying back to your windshield. This can leave a chip in the glass or even a crack that makes it difficult to see the road. Stay back a safe distance from cars in front of you. If there is a crack or chip, you can use some clear fingernail polish to seal it until you can get the windshield repaired. For more serious cracks, like those larger than a dollar bill, it would probably be a good idea to take it to a company like Martin Glass Co. or a similar company who can seal large cracks or even replace the windshield entirely.

    Scheduled Service

    There is a maintenance schedule for cars for a reason. Your oil should be changed at least every 3,000 miles, and you also need to get your tires rotated on a regular basis. The spark plugs and other fluids should also be changed on a recommended schedule set forth by the owner’s manual or your mechanic. If you keep everything changed as it should be, then you’ll significantly lengthen the life of the car.

    No Gas

    It’s hard to keep gas in the car when you don’t have money. Instead of driving the car when the gas hand is in the red, consider walking or taking public transportation as you’ll do more damage to your car than you think. All of the trash and debris from the bottom of the tank will begin to circulate through the fuel system, causing the filters to become clogged and the car to just not run as it should.


    One of the common issues with cars is overheating. There are several reasons as to why a car would overheat. The radiator fan might not work, or the thermostat might not be opening as it should. If you notice the car overheating, pull over to the side of the road. Don’t drive a car that overheats as it can crack the head gasket of the motor. Find out why it’s overheating as soon as possible before severe damage is done to the car.

    A car in college is often a necessity. You need it to get back and forth to work and to go back home when you want, especially for holidays. If you take the time to maintain the car, then you’ll spend less money on repairs while you own the vehicle.

    Off-to-College reference:

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