Having car troubles is extremely stressful, especially considering that you will have to entrust your repairs to repair shops that know a lot more than you do about cars (and can therefore take advantage your lack of knowledge, for their financial gain). Even if your car is not yet needing a mechanic’s TLC, there are things you can do to prevent big repair shop bills down the line. Whatever the case may be, it will be helpful for you to keep in mind these five things you can to do prevent high cost auto repair:
Get regular maintenance. Your car comes with an owner’s manual. Refer to it regularly and heed its advice when it comes to maintenance like oil changes, tune ups, and timing belt replacements.
Address the problem immediately. This is where most people fall short. They sense a minor issue, but don’t place the auto repair at a high priority (after all, money is tight). The issue then snowballs into a much larger problem, multiplying the cost of the repair needed. For example, it may cost you only fifty dollars to replace your brake pads, but if you go too long without replacing them when they need it, you may end up having to spend hundreds of dollars to replace warped rotors and drums.
Drive the “right” car. Some vehicles simply cost more to repair than others. Why? Because they are more rare, and/or are more complicated to fix. It may even be that their parts are harder to find. If low-cost auto maintenance is important to you, stay away from exotic foreign cars and rare makes/models that are years out of production.
Do your research. When it comes to auto repairs, it definitely pays to do your research before you take your car in to be worked on. Take inventory of the symptoms you notice in your car, and then search the Internet to find possible culprits. Also, if you know someone who knows a thing or two about auto repair, get as much information as you can about what the problem may be. That way, when you do take your car to the shop, you are less likely to fall prey to unnecessary up-selling and expensive false diagnostics.
Shop around. Not all auto repair shops are created equal. Once you have a good idea of what type of repairs your vehicle needs, you should call around to find out how much your local auto shops will charge for the same repairs. Chances are you can save a great deal of money just by doing this footwork.