No matter how great of a job you do when it comes to taking care of your car, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to take your vehicle in for repairs. Just like you should do research if you feel you need to protect your car with the help of a Specialty Auto Loan Company, you should also do some digging into all the ways you can save money on car repairs. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Check Your Manual for Oil Changes
Rather than check the sticker in the corner of your windshield for when you should take your car in for an oil change, look at your car’s manual instead. It’s not uncommon for oil change businesses to advise you to come in earlier than you need to, which puts more money in their pockets while draining it from yours. This isn’t to suggest that they’re automatically wrong, just that how often you change your oil depends on your vehicle as well as the type of oil you use.
Ask and Shop Around
Even if you have to drive farther than you might prefer, it could be worth it for you to take your car to a different auto shop for repairs and maintenance. Call around to compare prices, making sure you do your research to see what kind of service you can expect as well as the reputation the shop has. It won’t do you much good to get a better deal on repairs if those repairs are poorly done, which is sure to cost you more later. Ask friends and family if they have any recommendations to offer.
Take Care of Minor Repairs Yourself
You don’t have to go to school to handle every car repair in the book. For instance, you can easily change out your own wiper blades, and you can even change your own oil if you have the right equipment. Over time, you can learn how to change an air filter, install a new battery and even change out a headlight. When you do attempt to tackle repairs on your own, ensure you have the right tools and information. If you ever feel you might be out of your league, turn the job over to the pros.
Consider Getting a Code Reader
If you don’t know much about cars, then you likely won’t have much of an idea of what’s going on with yours when a dashboard light flares on. Because you can easily work yourself into a tizzy wondering how much a repair will cost, buying a code reader, also known as an On-Board Diagnostics scanner, will let you know just why that light is on so you can do some research to see how much the repair or replacement will cost. Such technology has become so advanced that you can use it with your phone.
In regards to how code readers can save you money, you can use them occasionally even when you don’t have a light on your dashboard. You’ll know just how well your car is holding up and if there are any minor issues to look into before they become major ones with a major repair cost. Something else to think about is that repair shops can charge a diagnostic fee.
Buy Parts Yourself
Your code reader might indicate a repair or replacement you can’t handle yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead and by the necessary part yourself. Just like movie theater snacks and candy, auto repair shops often markup the prices of parts, making you spend more than absolutely necessary. Do some research on the best parts, checking to see if a used part will do, and buy them yourself. Before spending any money, check with the repair shop you plan on doing business with to see if they allow customers to purchase their own parts.
Sidestep Add-On Services
Depending on the repair shop you go to, you could be offered add-on services, such as a full vehicle fluid flush. Such services are often unnecessary, which is why you want to do some research on your car to see how best to take care of it and when certain services need to be performed to keep it in optimum condition.
Take a proactive approach when it comes to something as major and often-expensive as car repairs. A little foresight is sure to serve you well over the years and miles.