If you’ve ever had a car break down, you know how much financial stress it can cause. Car problems can occur randomly, but routine maintenance is also something that also needs to be considered. While mechanic costs can add up fast, the following guidelines can help you keep maintenance and repair expenses low.
Do Your Research
Those who don’t have the best idea of how to estimate a car repair can benefit greatly from doing a little research before they send their car to the mechanic. One study found that people can end up with a better cost for the repairs if they make an effort to look into the problem beforehand. Knowing what the fix should be priced at can work in your favor. Websites like Driverside and AutoMD can help you determine where the problem might lie and how much it should cost to have fixed.
Even those who don’t have in-depth knowledge about their vehicle can have better luck at the mechanic’s shop. “Look into the problem beforehand, ask as many questions as you want, and if you feel unsure about anything, move on to a different mechanic. If you haven’t signed anything, you’re not obligated to work with them,” explained Jason Chalik, car accident lawyer in Plantation. The peace of mind will assure you that you’re on the right track.
Look for Discounts and See What Your Warranty Covers
Sometimes, Pep Boys and Meineke put coupons online, and even these can save you some cash. Warranties on new cars usually last until 36,000 miles or three years. Repairs will likely be taken care of if your car is still within those time restrictions. Used cars can also be covered if you purchase an aftermarket warranty.
Look for a Reliable Mechanic that You Trust
An honest mechanic can save you a great deal of money. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence endorses mechanics after they have demonstrated proficiency in every aspect of car maintenance and repair, and their website is the best place to locate a mechanic if you haven’t found one yet. AAA also recommends mechanics. Or, see which repair shop your family and friends take their cars to. Reviews can also prove useful as a last resort, and get a second opinion if you’re in doubt.
Stay on Top of Recommended Maintenance
Some services might not be absolutely necessary, but prioritizing certain maintenance tasks can save you a lot of grief later. Check your owner’s manual to see what your car needs, and avoid spending money on work that doesn’t need to be done until you reach a certain mileage. Certain checks can be done yourself, such as looking at the fluid level or changing the oil. Many instructional repair videos are available on AutoZone and other reputable websites that can help get you started.
In summary, being proactive can save you a great deal of expense and frustration when it comes to your vehicle. Do you have any other tips for finding a good mechanic fast? What do you look for when taking your car in for a tune-up?