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10 easy ways to prevent expensive car repairs

Protect your wallet with these essential tools

Profile picture of Emma Simon
by Emma Simon ConsumerAffairs Research Team
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Nothing creates stress like getting a flat tire on the highway, and nothing ruins the look of your car like dull paint on the hood. Keep reading to find out how to avoid expensive auto repairs by being proactive with the right car maintenance tools.

1. "How Cars Work" by Tom Newton

how cars work
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • One topic per page
  • Basic car vocabulary and mechanical knowledge

BUY ON AMAZON

If you don’t know the difference between an alternator and a radiator, this book is for you. With 250 pages of illustrations and explanations on how cars operate in layman's terms, you can be an expert on all things related to auto maintenance in no time.

2. Armor All complete car care kit

armor all complete car care kit
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Protect your paint against UV rays and oxidation
  • Includes four Armor All products

BUY ON AMAZON

Keep your car in prime shape with this four-piece Armor All kit that includes tire foam, paint protectant and wax-and-wash soap.

3. Vehicle maintenance log book

vehicle maintenance log book
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Keep track of car repairs
  • Monitor your car’s maintenance

BUY ON AMAZON

It may not be as exciting as your personal journal, but keeping track of auto repairs, oil changes or tire rotations is a must. This vehicle maintenance log book keeps your car’s details organized and in one place.

4. DEKOPRO 118-piece professional auto repair tool set

dekopro professional auto repair tool set
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • High-quality, wear-resistant steel
  • Compact and easy to store

BUY ON AMAZON

You can’t go wrong by keeping this 118-piece tool kit in your trunk. Plus, you don’t have to be a mechanic to pull out the correct socket or wrench from this sturdy yet compact case filled with easy-to-use car repair tools.

5. XINDELL car-cleaning kit

xindell car cleaning kit
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Great for fog and moisture removal
  • Ergonomic handle

BUY ON AMAZON

Skip the Windex and paper towels and use this Xindell window-cleaning kit to keep your windows sparkling. The brush has an ergonomic handle with soft microfibers that make your windows shine while also removing dust and dirt without streaking.

6. FOXWELL car engine inspection camera

foxwell car engine inspection camera
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Adjustable LED light
  • Works with Android and Apple phones

BUY ON AMAZON

Use this car engine camera to stay on top of your engine’s condition by checking under the hood and in the tiniest crevices. It’s a must for any DIY car guy or gal, and it has zoom features and 3D lighting.

7. Extended car warranty

Investing in an extended auto warranty can save you money on expensive car repairs, even for pre-owned vehicles or cars with more than 100,000 miles.

8. ThisWorx car vacuum

thisworx car vacuum
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • 3 different nozzles
  • 16-foot-long power cord

BUY ON AMAZON

Keeping floor mats and seats clean of hair, crumbs and other messes is important. Make vacuuming a regular occurrence with this ThisWorx car vacuum. It’s light yet powerful, thanks to its 106-watt motor.

9. Lifeline car emergency kit

lifeline emergency car jumper cable
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • 8-gauge booster cable
  • Fits in a compact bag

BUY ON AMAZON

Lifeline is the exclusive licensee for AAA roadside and emergency safety kits, and this one is a lifesaver. It has everything you could need in an emergency, including a flashlight, jumper cables, screwdrivers and multiple other pieces that keep you prepared in a pinch.

10. TEKTON instant-read digital tire gauge with lighted nozzle

tekton digital tire gauge
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Digital display
  • Lighted nozzle and display screen

BUY ON AMAZON

No more stopping at the gas station to check the air in your tires. TEKTON’s handy digital gauge with a lighted nozzle is easy to use, light as a feather and gives you a reading quickly. It also turns itself off after 30 seconds to save battery life.

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Profile picture of Emma Simon
by Emma Simon ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Emma Simon is dedicated to creating accurate and valuable content that helps consumers make difficult decisions.