One of the hardest parts about owning a car is when you inevitably have to make some repairs. Maybe you got into a car accident or maybe one of the parts inside just wore down over time. Whatever the reason, suddenly your car doesn’t work and the mechanic is handing you an expensive bill. To prevent this, you’ll want to look for ways that you can make car repairs a little more affordable. Here are just a few strategies you can try.
Avoid Needing Repairs in the First Place
The best way to save money on repairs is if you don’t need them in the first place. Of course, sometimes you’ll need repairs no matter what you do, but there are still some things you can do to make this a rarer occurrence.
For example, performing regular maintenance on your car is one of the best ways to keep it in great shape. You should be regularly changing your oil, rotating your tires, and replacing the brake pads. Find your car’s maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual, then be sure you are following it as closely as possible.
The other thing you can do is change your driving habits. Driving recklessly, ignoring the rules of the road, or driving in bad weather conditions all increase your chances of a car accident. If you get into a car accident, no matter how minor it may seem at first, it could lead to expensive repairs. Think about your own driving habits and whether they are leading to your car need more repairs than it should.
Get an Extended Warranty
The next thing you can try is getting an extended warranty. Extended warranties will help to pay for repairs after your initial warranty has expired. Most new cars come with warranties, but these will expire after a certain amount of time or miles, leaving you on the hook for repairs after that.
Many people also ask “Can I buy an extended warranty on a used car?” and the answer is yes. An extended warranty will cost you a little bit each month, but could potentially save you a lot of money if you end up needing a large repair. See what sort of extended warranties are available for your car and decide whether it makes financial sense for you.
Choose the Right Mechanic
If you have to take your car in for repairs, be sure you are taking it to the right mechanic. Each mechanic is different, with some providing better quality work and others providing more affordable prices. Call ahead to the mechanic and ask them to give you an estimate on the work you need done. You can then call different mechanics and compare the estimates.
You should also look at online reviews to see how past customers have rated their experience. Many people stick with their same mechanic without considering there could be a more affordable option. So, before you take your car in again, see what else is available.
Buy Your Own Parts
When you take your car in to a mechanic, they will often purchase replacement parts for you and include it in your bill. However, they don’t always get the most affordable part. If you can find the part for a cheaper price elsewhere, you could bring it to the mechanic and have them install it for you, saving you money. Try out sites like NAPA or Parts Geek to look for discount automotive parts. Then compare these with the cost of the part your mechanic wanted to buy and see how much you are saving.
Learn to do Your Own Repairs
Finally, perhaps the best way to save money on car repairs is to learn to do them yourself. Repairing your car will not only save you from having to hire someone, but also provide you with a great feeling of accomplishment. Of course, repairing your car isn’t always easy, and you may need to buy specialized tools and equipment to get the job done. You should explore what it takes to do the repair yourself first, then decide if that is something you can handle. You may find that you can do a lot of simple repairs, meaning you no longer have to take your car to the shop.
Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Cost
Saving money on car repairs is important, but don’t do so at the expense of quality. It’s important that the repairs get done right, otherwise, you could end up in an accident or with a larger issue on your hands. Spend time exploring more affordable options, but also don’t be afraid to spend more money to ensure that the repairs get done right.