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Car tips & advice | 20.03.2014 - 22:19

Car Trouble? Six Tricks to Save on Car Repairs

Car repairs are expensive and hard to prepare for. Use these tips to save on automobile maintenance.

Car repairs can be the largest source of financial stress. Unexpected repairs bills can cause intense financial headache, and working with a mechanic can be a negotiating nightmare. Arming yourself with information before going to the shop can help in the process. Here are six tricks to help you save on car repairs.

 

1. Do Many Repairs Yourself

 

Do as many repairs yourself as you possibly can. One of the best tips is to avoid taking your car to a professional altogether. Perform a series of simple repairs like inflating the tires, replacing the fluids and filling dents. Anyone can do more than apply a new wax on the car. Plenty of do-it-yourself guides are available online.

 

2. Ask for Cost Estimates

 

Many people receive charges on their credit cards that they do not review thoroughly enough. Every time you work with a mechanic, request a detailed list of the cost estimates. Make sure that every single service and cost is put down in writing. Ask what happens if the mechanic's work does not fix the problem. Work with mechanics who operate with some kind of guarentee.

 

3. Shop at Salvage Yards

 

Look for spare car parts at salvage yards. It is not always necessary to buy brand-new, expensive parts at stores. “It is important you have this resource, because buying parts from a junk yard can save you big money ,” explains Ecology Auto Pars, who specializes in auto salvage in Phoenix. To make the search easier, contact the yard beforehand and have a good written description of the parts you want. It may take some work to find the right items, but you can save up to hundreds of dollars.

 

4. Compare Rates at Different Stores

 

Check the rates at different stores that sell the same auto parts. A lot of people buy the most expensive products without thinking through the process. Before you buy, make sure that you know the precise specifications. Also, know that there are always competing stores that offer the same high-quality products at affordable prices.

 

5. Remember to Maintain Your Car Annually

 

Every driver is encouraged to maintain the car at least once a year. This routine maintenance is needed to prevent potential breakdowns. The older the car gets, the more likely you have to keep it well-maintained. There are all kinds of fluids that need refills or replacements. The filters should be cleared of hazardous particles like oil or dust. Maintaining the car is cheaper than making repairs, so take this process seriously.

 

6. Check the Background of the Mechanic

 

You need a reliable mechanic who is not known to rip off customers. You should read customer reviews, look up sales and discounts, and check the general background of the mechanic. Ask a lot of questions before they look at the car and work with a mechanic who is willing to provide every detail of the repair.

Severe automobile breakdowns are stressful. For every expensive repair, there is a cheaper alternative. Be creative as a driver and look for ways to save.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about business and finance and spending time with her dog, Max.

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