Simple Tricks to Save Money on Car Repairs
When something goes wrong with your car you probably dread taking it to the mechanic or, worse, to the dealership. Car repairs are expensive and it always seems that when one thing goes wrong, other problems aren’t far behind. If you want to save money on car repairs without compromising quality, follow the simple tricks provided below:
- Stay on track with scheduled maintenance. When you purchase a new car (whether it’s actually new or just new to you), it is important that you at least skim through the instruction manual. You don’t necessarily need to read every page, but at least take a look at the section about scheduled maintenance and try to stick to that schedule. Spending $30 now for something simple could end up saving you a $300 repair later.
- Ask around for recommendations. It pays to have a reliable mechanic you can go to when your car is in need of repair. Don’t pick a shop based on online coupons or promotions – you want to pick a mechanic that won’t overcharge you and who won’t try to sell you on unnecessary repairs. Ask around for recommendations and don’t be afraid to mention your friend’s name. Sometimes a mechanic will give a discounted rate for loyal customers.
- Don’t skip oil changes. Recommendations vary in terms of how often you should replace your oil and oil filter, so this is something else you want to find in your instruction manual. You might have to have your oil replaced more often if you do a lot of highway driving or long trips but you can’t just go by your odometer reading alone.
- Price shop before you agree to repairs. It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion, especially if it’s for a pretty major issue. Have a mechanic tell you exactly what’s wrong with the car, what needs to be done, and how much it is going to cost. Then, take that information to a second mechanic to see if his response lines up. If so, you can then go even further to see if other shops in the area can do the work for a lower price.
- Don’t ignore warning signs. It pays to deal with problems promptly, especially when it comes to your vehicle. The tricky thing is that a check engine light could be caused by a minor problem that is easy to fix, or it could be a major issue – you won’t necessarily know until you take it to the shop. Never let a check engine light go more than a few days before you have the car checked out – you could be doing more damage that will cost you in the long run.
- Consider whether you can do it yourself. You don’t have to know everything there is to know about cars to make some simple repairs yourself. Things like changing your wiper blades or replacing an air filter are easy enough and you might be able to save by buying the parts yourself.
When it comes to car repairs, a good rule of thumb to follow is that prevention is always best. If you take care of your car, it is going to last longer and you won’t have to many major issues. It is worth spending a little bit of money more frequently on preventive measures than to spend a lot of money once in a while fixing major issues.