The cost of car repair can pile up pretty quickly. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a car freak or a car mechanics guru to save on car repairs. The following expense management tips are simple and easy to apply. If you follow them to the letter, you’ll be well on your way to saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs each year.
1. Do It Yourself When You Can
Do you have your mechanic on speed dial and always run to them whenever your car runs into an issue? Not every car maintenance and repair task requires the intervention of a mechanic. The mechanic is in it for the money and will happily take whatever work you bring. In fact, the simplest repair jobs often deliver the largest profit margins.
The more auto repair tasks you can do on your own, the less your need to reach out to your mechanic. You should for instance be able to change the battery, replace wiper blades, take care of filter and oil changes, wax your car and fix new lights. It will feel daunting at the start but you’ll soon get the hang of it with practice.
2. Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is the most effective way to slash your future car repair costs. Many expensive car repair jobs are the result of a small issue that was allowed to worsen and eventually cost far more than it should have. Some maintenance measures are especially important.
Check your fluid levels routinely. Refilling fluid levels prevents the engine and system failures that would precipitate huge repairs. Inflate your tire pressure to manufacturer’s specifications. Under-inflated tires wear out quickly, strain your car’s suspension and reduce gas mileage. Replace brake pads. The consequences of failed brakes are too grave to contemplate yet it costs just a few dollars to buy new ones.
3. Use Warranties
Many of your car’s parts have a warranty, whether limited or lifetime. This information will be indicated on your receipt or other documentation at the time of purchase. The record is also retained in your auto dealer’s or part manufacturer’s system. Invoking the warranty means you don’t have to spend on replacement or repair of these parts.
Whenever possible, buy parts with lifetime warranties. Even if that feels like a long time in the context of a car’s usable life, it might be a lifesaver in future when you don’t have the cash to pay for a costly part replacement.
4. Avoid Dealerships for Non-Warranty Repairs and Car Care Products
If your motor vehicle isn’t covered by a warranty, avoid taking it to a dealership repair center when it needs something fixed. Not only will you have to contend with long wait times and inconveniencing appointments, you’ll also pay much more than you would if you went elsewhere.
You’ll get the best deals from local, independently owned service centers. Find out where your family, friends or co-workers take their cars. Independent centers offer competitive pricing, attractive discounts on routine maintenance tasks and convenient appointment windows. Buy car care products from credible third parties like Carpro.global.
5. Do Your Own Research
When your car has a problem, don’t take everything your mechanic tells you as irrefutable truth. You could be taken advantage of and misled into incurring expenses you didn’t need to. In any case, no mechanic is endowed with absolute knowledge on car repair and maintenance. They may unintentionally provide inaccurate advice that will cost you.
So before you reach out to your mechanic, do your own research especially where a major repair job is involved. If you aren’t comfortable with what your mechanic tells you, it doesn’t hurt to seek a second or third opinion.
6. Build a Long-term Relationship with a Trustworthy Mechanic
A mechanic is a car’s doctor so it isn’t surprising that car owners will treat their mechanic’s advice with the same weight they do their family doctor’s. Still, car mechanics have a business to run and some will be tempted to add items to your bill that you don’t need.
Majority of mechanics are decent, well-meaning individuals looking to earn an honest wage. You may have to go through a couple of mechanics before you find one that has your best interests at heart. Referrals from friends and family can certainly help you find the right mechanic fast.
Your car is usually the largest (or second largest after mortgage or rent payments) item on your monthly budget. By applying these tips, you can cut down the dollars you spend on repair and maintenance.