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Nov 10, 2014

How to Save Money during Car Repairs

Posted By in Maintenance Tips | No Comments »

Car repairs don’t have to cost a lot of money. Proper maintenance should keep your maintenance costs to a minimum for the first few years of your car’s life, but even when big repairs come up, you can manage their costs with a few best practices.

Save Money During Car Repairs

  1. Follow the owner’s manual.
  2. Yes, we know, they’re boring. They’re also incredibly useful. Proper maintenance can stave off breakdowns, and even eliminate the need for optional repairs like engine and transmission flushes.

    Even better, the manual helps you understand common breakdowns and how mechanics will fix them. This can give you a better idea of the kinds of services you need before you ask for them.

  3. Check for recalls.
  4. If you are completely confident that only a specific part or system has failed, and that all other components are working normally, you may be able to avoid going to a mechanic. Check the internet for recalls and technical service bulletins about the specific part or system. With luck, the manufacturer will handle the repairs for you.

  5. Pick a garage, not a dealership.
  6. Dealerships are only worth going to if you think a warranty will cover your repairs. Everything else is drastically marked up. Garages are leaner operations that offer better value and customer rewards.

  7. Shop around!
  8. Get at least two quotes, and make sure to ask a lot of questions to find out exactly what services are included in each quote. Questions to ask might include:

    • Is there an inspection fee? Is that included in the quote?
    • Will I have access to a courtesy car? Is that included?
    • How are your parts sourced? Are they new or old? Is the price of parts definite, or an estimate?
  9. Get it all in writing.
  10. Especially for big-ticket repairs, get it in writing, and in detail. Many people think this is needed to keep mechanics honest, but it’s actually much more useful just to prevent confusion on both sides. A legitimate garage will have no problem telling you in writing exactly what they are going to do and how much you will need to pay for it.


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