Using a car comes with numerous expenses that quickly add up. You have to buy gas and insurance, so you may choose to cut car repairs out of the budget. However, it’s possible to fix your car without breaking the bank if you follow these four guidelines.
- Stay on Top of Maintenance
The best way to avoid costly repairs is to take your car in regularly for maintenance, from oil changes to complete tune-ups. It may seem as if you’re spending more money, but in the long run it will save you big bills due to keeping vehicle parts in good condition and catching problems early on. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on the right frequency of maintenance for your make and model.
- Take Care of Repairs Right Away
When a problem does arise, avoid putting off repairs until better circumstances. The longer you wait, the worse the damage will be and the more expensive fixing it will cost. It’s best to make repairs right away no matter how inconvenient.
- Do It Yourself
Another way to save on repairs is to do them yourself, but only if you have the skills to do so. Otherwise, you can cause more harm. You don’t need to have the tools necessary for fixing your car, though. Many auto parts stores provide rental services. For example, you can utilize a local AC vacuum pump rental to help fix a broken AC instead of spending money taking your vehicle in to the shop simply because it has access to the required equipment.
- Properly Research Auto Shops
If you’re not the DIY type, no worries. You can follow the traditional route of taking your car to an independent mechanic and still be able to save some money by taking the following steps:
- Look for Deals: Many shops offer new-customer discounts, coupons, and other promotional offers to draw in clients. Take advantage of these savings. You can also ask if you’re allowed to supply the needed replacement parts, which can lead to lower costs when you shop for the best auto parts online. Just be sure you get the right parts and have a warranty for each one.
- Shop Around: Don’t go with the first place you find or make your decision based only on price or location. Review the feedback and ratings for each business. Check that the mechanics have the proper certifications. You can also ask trusted loved ones for referrals. Once you’ve narrowed down the list, ask each one for an estimate, preferably in writing.
- Educate Yourself: If you want to avoid being ripped off, educate yourself on the issues your car is having and the service it likely requires. Read the owner’s manual, research online, and check out a free auto repair guide. The more information you have, the better prepared you’ll be to deter or catch dishonesty.
Whether you work on your car yourself or take it to a professional, you have the ability to lower the bill to a more reasonable dollar amount. Get the job done as soon as possible to also increase your safety, and start setting aside some money for next time your car needs repairs.