Free services you can get at Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly and more

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Advance, Auto Zone, O’Reilly: Free battery tests, wiper blade installation, loaner tools and more

We’re all familiar with the big auto stores chains like Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone, O’Reilly Auto Part and Pep Boys. You probably see them from the road as you’re driving.

But do you know what in-store services they offer for free?

Here’s a look at who offers what…

Advance Auto Parts

advance auto parts

  • Check Engine Light Testing – Free
  • Wiper Blade & Bulb Installation – Free
  • Battery Testing and Installation – Free
  • Alternator & Starter Testing – Free
  • Loaner Tool Program – Free

Auto Zone

auto zone

  • Battery Testing – Free
  • Alternator & Starter Testing – Free
  • Voltage Regulator Testing* – Free
    * also includes control modules, coils, throttle position sensors (TPSs) and other engine management components.
  • Fluid & Battery Recycling – Free
  • Loaner Tool Program – Free
  • Check Engine Light Testing via the Fix Finder program – Free

O’Reilly

O'reilly auto parts

  • Battery Testing – Free
  • Alternator & Starter Testing – Free
  • Wiper Blade & Bulb Installation – Free
  • Check Engine Light Testing – Free
  • Fluid & Battery Recycling – Free
  • Loaner Tool Program – Free

Pep Boys

pep boys

You must be a Pep Boys Rewards Member to take advantage of any free services. Sign up is free online.

  • Check Engine Light Testing – Free
  • Battery Testing – Free
  • Wiper Blade & Bulb Installation – Free
  • Alignment checks – Free
  • Brake checks – Free

A few things to keep in mind about these free services

  • The checks are typically free with no strings attached
  • For free installs, you must buy the equipment or parts at the retailer
  • Offers apply to most automobiles at most locations, though some local ordinances may prohibit certain offers
  • Check with your individual store for complete details

Keeping the cost of vehicle ownership down 

Do you know the true cost of vehicle ownership? When we think about our vehicles, we almost never consider what it costs to own and operate our wheels every single day in and day out.

Imagine if you had a taxi meter running in your car every time you used it. The average new vehicle would cost you $8,469 annually to own and operate, according to the latest AAA estimates.

That works out to be $706 each month, which is 56 cents per mile if you put a standard 15,000 miles on your vehicle annually. That’s the effective cost you’re paying for every mile you drive.

Everyone thinks the big expense with a car is gasoline. While gasoline prices are going up, that’s only part of the financial picture.

The following numbers, courtesy of AAA’s 2017 Your Driving Costs brochure, show an itemized view of the biggest items in your transportation budget on a new vehicle:

driving costs 1 driving costs 3

You’ll note that the single biggest line item in AAA’s numbers is depreciation. In case you’re not familiar with the term, depreciation is the loss in value a new vehicle suffers the minute it drives off a dealer’s lot.

If you insist on buying new and want to try to minimize the effects of depreciation on your wallet, you could try studying up on new vehicles that are likely to retain more of their value before you buy.

But as a general rule, the way to beat depreciation is not to expose yourself to it! That’s why money expert Clark Howard prefers that you buy used vehicles instead of new vehicles. Your wallet will thank you in the long run.

As for the other line items, it’s very easy to comparison shop your auto insurance, use free apps to find the cheapest gas prices and look around for a reliable auto mechanic who won’t rip you off.

Now, here’s another money-saving idea: How about finding auto stores that will give you free services so you can save on basic maintenance like bulb replacement, windshield wiper installation and more.

Isn’t it nice to keep a little extra jingle in your pocket?

RELATED: Metromile vs. Milewise vs. Esurance — Which pay-per-mile insurance is right for you? 

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