Car repairs can quickly add up to significant charges, depleting your bank account before you know it. No one wants to overpay when it comes time to fix their vehicle.
Thankfully, there are five simple things you can do to save money and keep that repair bill from becoming too high. From finding used parts to choosing after-market items, completing the work yourself, and taking care of critical maintenance, every element can help save you money.
Choosing refurbished or reliable used parts
One of the simplest ways to save money on car repairs is to replace your broken parts with good, used auto parts. Many automobile mechanics offer refurbished items or good quality parts that still have much life left.
Used auto parts often come with a warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that you are protected from faulty items after installation. While not every item your vehicle needs can be purchased used, it is often the expensive and complex parts you can find at a discount. Rebuilt transmissions, used water pumps, and other major pieces are readily available through many mechanics.
Purchasing after-market parts rather than OEM options
Naturally, large automotive dealerships will make money when your vehicle breaks down and you purchase the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) parts. Unfortunately, these brand-name products come at a higher price, which can drive up your repair bill.
You are essentially paying for the manufacturer’s name on the part. This name marks the part as a high-authority product in the market. Thankfully, many manufacturers provide car parts suitable for various vehicles and will not cost as much as OEM options.
If you have no problems purchasing an after-market product, this small choice can mean a big difference in your final costs. These products will still operate the same and come with a warranty but have a lower price tag.
Purchase the parts yourself
Any task a repair shop has to complete on your vehicle will come with a charge. In addition, some mechanics will not stock all the parts needed, making it necessary to order and ship items to fix your car. You can save some repair costs by purchasing the parts yourself and delivering them to your mechanic.
In addition, if you shop around, you may find parts cheaper than what a mechanic shop has on hand in their inventory. Purchasing brand-new parts on your own will still come with a manufacturer’s warranty. However, you will need to talk to the mechanic about the labor guarantee when you bring items in yourself.
Perform the repairs on your own
If you are handy and have the right tools, there are many car repairs you can perform yourself to save money on labor costs. You can refer to the owner’s manual for many basic repairs or use the internet and YouTube to search for instructions on replacing parts on your vehicle at home. Another option is seeking out a friend or family member who can complete the work for you.
Not only will you save money by not paying the hourly labor fees from a mechanic shop, but the parts you choose might also be less expensive. This method for handling car repairs is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money the next time your vehicle breaks down.
Keep your vehicle maintained regularly
Regular maintenance is vital in helping keep down repair costs. When you take the time to change the oil, rotate tires, and keep fluids topped up, the vehicle will run better, last longer, and have minimal mechanical issues. These small tasks can also help you catch problems before they occur, saving you money.
In addition, if your vehicle shows warning lights, check-engine lights, or other sudden notifications, it’s best to address them as soon as possible. The longer you wait to diagnose a problem, the higher chance that there will be more costly repairs later.
Coming up with the money for your auto repairs can be challenging. Thankfully, you have options to help bring down the final costs and make it easier on your wallet. There are several ways to ensure your next repair bill will not get out of hand, from purchasing used parts or completing the work yourself and more.