If your car has ever broken down, you know it can cost a ton to get it running again. Car repairs can be so expensive! To save yourself some money, give some of these tips a try.
1. Find a Mechanic You Trust & Stick With Them
Having a mechanic you trust is essential. Once you find one, keep going back each time you need your car serviced. You’ll become known as a loyal customer and might find some unexpected discounts as a perk.
How do you find such a mechanic? The best time to find one is before you need a mechanic. So start now, and ask your friends and colleagues who they use. Call the shops and get a feel for their customer service and hourly rates.
Scour the internet for reviews, and learn all you can about the integrity of the places you’re considering. When you’ve narrowed down your list, make an appointment at one for an oil change the next time you’re due.
This basic service can tell you a lot about how mechanic shops operate. Do they try to pin a ton of unexpected services on you? Do they take time to give your car a thorough inspection?
Remember to listen to your gut as well. It can really help steer you in the right direction. Once you’ve found a shop you like, you’ll have someone to call the next time your car breaks down. You’ll know where to take it.
2. Use Used Parts
Tons of autos are recycled each year. Often these cars have been wrecked, and the insurance company totals them instead of paying for them to be fixed. But, many of the parts on those wrecked cars still work.
Find a mechanic who is willing to use parts from junkyards when appropriate. This will save you a ton of money!
You can save even more money by being willing to go to the junkyard and pull the part yourself. These parts are cheaper than the ones the junkyard pulls for your mechanic and ships out.
3. Invest in Your Own Code Reader
Sometimes a check engine light is a sign of a serious problem. Sometimes it means that your gas tank lid wasn’t screwed on tight enough.
Unfortunately, without a code reader you have no way of knowing what the warning light means. Without this reader, you’ll have to go to the mechanic and pay a diagnostic fee to figure it out.
You can purchase a quality code reader for a couple hundred bucks. If you’re mechanically inclined, you can use this knowledge to do your own repairs when they’re ones you feel comfortable with.
If you aren’t, you can at least gain a better understanding of what’s wrong with your car and if it’s going to interfere with safe driving, or if it can wait until payday to get taken care of.
If you aren’t sure, you can do an internet search for the make and model of your vehicle, along with the code your reader gave. You’ll find more detailed information and can use that to make an informed decision.
4. Check for Social Media Savings
Be sure to follow your mechanic on social media if the shop has a presence on any of the networks. Some are known to throw out money savings coupons or discount codes on their Facebook pages or on Twitter, so check them out each time before you take your car in.
5. Take Care of Basic Repairs Yourself
There’s no need to pay someone to take care of basic repairs. With the abundance of YouTube videos, if you’re at all mechanically minded you can easily learn to:
- Change wiper blades
- Replace light bulbs
- Check and replace air filters
- Check and change your brake pads
- Replace many hoses and belts
Not all jobs require a mechanic, and you’ll save money each time you tackle a DIY car repair!
How Do You Save Money on Auto Repairs?
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