10 Tricks To Make Car Repairs More Affordable

10 Tricks To Make Car Repairs More Affordable

A trip to the mechanics can often be expensive. Whilst you can pay for car repairs with a loan, there are other ways to make repairs affordable. Here are 10 tricks to help you afford car repairs.

Take preventative maintenance

Most repairs can be avoided if you take preventative maintenance on your vehicle. Tasks such as topping up oil reserves can keep engine parts lubricated, stopping them from wearing. Meanwhile, keeping your tires pumped up can prevent tire wear, whilst also keeping the car balanced and hence preventing other wear and tear to suspension and brake pads.

A lot of this is stuff you can do yourself, but there may be preventative maintenance that requires the help of a mechanic. This could include getting an oil change or replacing a belt before it gets too worn. Whilst it may seem counterintuitive to pay for these repairs when they’re not in desperate need, it could save you a lot of money further down the line. For instance, letting a driving belt completely fail could cause it to snap and destroy multiple parts in the process.

To help catch any problems early, make sure that you’re regularly checking under the bonnet. You also shouldn’t ignore warning lights or strange sounds coming from your car. An annual service could help to catch other problems which could be less easy to detect yourself.

Tweak your insurance

Most drivers are only insured against repairs caused by accidents that weren’t their fault. However, you can tweak this and insure yourself against other general repair costs. This does mean more expensive insurance premiums – which could put a lot of people off – but in some cases the extra cost each month isn’t actually that much.

Individual expenses such as breakdown cover for instance are usually only a few dollars extra a month. This could protect you against an expensive repair bill as the result of an electrical failure or mechanical breakdown.

Take out a warranty

When buying a vehicle, you may be able to take out a warranty from the dealer that could insure you against major repairs for the first few months/years. It could even include a return policy that allows you to exchange the vehicle.

You obviously won’t be offered this if you buy a car from an independent seller – in such cases, when buying from someone you don’t know, it could be worth looking into other insurance options to keep you protected against car repairs in the first few months. Extended warranties covers repairs and replacements for your car’s systems and parts after the factory warranty is no longer valid like when buying an older, used vehicle.

Start a rainy day fund

Having some savings set aside for emergencies is always worthwhile. This could help you to pay for surprise car repair bills rather than having to take out a loan. Just make sure not to dip into it for non-emergency reasons and keep putting money into it each month so that it’s always topped up.

By using the same mechanic repeatedly and building a friendly relationship, you may be treated to loyalty discounts for continuously using their service. You may even know a friend who is a mechanic who can give you mates rates.

Stay loyal to a reputable mechanic

Of course, you should also make sure that this chosen mechanic is reputable – if they continuously botch up repairs, it won’t matter if you’re getting loyalty discounts as you’ll likely be going for repairs more often.

Shop around

The opposite strategy to loyalty rates is to always shop around – this can save you just as much money. Every mechanic is likely to charge different rates for the same task. By ringing around and comparing prices, you can help to find the cheapest price. So long as you know the problem and the repair that is needed, most mechanics will be willing to give a price over the phone.

As with finding a loyal mechanic, make sure that any mechanic you choose is reputable. Sometimes the cheapest mechanics will be making up for a poor reputation. Check reviews online to get an idea of how they’re regarded locally.

Source your own parts

Many mechanics will aim to make a profit on any parts they have to order in. By sourcing these parts yourself, you may be able to save money.

This requires you to know exactly what part you need and where to get it. There are lots of sites that sell car parts. You can even consider used car parts, which may be cheaper – just be wary that some of these could be partially worn and so may need to be replaced sooner.

Know when to try your own DIY repairs

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you may be able to save money by doing your own repairs. There are plenty of tutorials on video sites as well as vehicle manuals that can help you to do your own repairs. Some guides may rate the difficulty, so that you know what is within your ability. Jobs involving electrics are best avoided, but a task such as replacing brake pads could be quite doable even with limited mechanical knowledge. Just make sure you know your limits – botching up repairs could end up making things more expensive for yourself.

Consider whether you can make a legal claim

There may be instances where you’re entitled to legal compensation – this could help pay for repairs. Many common injuries as a result of a car crash can be legally compensated if you’re willing to seek legal action. Meanwhile, you may be able to sue a mechanic, a cleaner or a valet that causes damage to your vehicle.  

Don’t stick with an unreliable vehicle

Some vehicles are simply unreliable and will keep on costing you money. Older vehicles that have done their mileage are most likely to keep failing – at this point, parts will naturally be wearing away and you could find that you’re constantly having to repair and replace things. Other vehicles may have recurring faults that no mechanic seems able to diagnose or fix. It’s important to know when to cut your losses and get a new more reliable vehicle. Scrapping your vehicle could help to earn you a small amount of money to put towards a new car – it could still work out cheaper in the long run than continuously getting your current car fixed.

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Owner and Editor at Week99er
Becky is Content Creator in metro-Detroit. She is also an interior designer, a former adjunct professor, a gluten free foodie, and world traveler. Week99er is a lifestyle site featuring real life reviews of the latest in entertainment, technology, travel destinations and even set visits. Her Youtube channel gives in depth reviews and travel videos. Contact her at becky@week99er.com

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