Sometimes your car dies when you less expect it, putting you in the unpleasant situation of spending time and money to get it towed and repaired. This is normal, it can happen to all of us and there’s no other way to sort it out. However, your mechanic may call you soon after he gets to work on your car and tell you that you also need to change some belt, the water pump, the breaks and whoever knows what else. He is probably going to give you a cost estimate for the job. This is where you can use these tips to cut your costs a little.
1. Ask for a written estimate
Things that involve exchanging services for money should be written and agreed by both parties before any work is started. This is how you can eliminate further issues with hidden costs. You need to know exactly what services or jobs are included in a certain price in order to avoid getting overcharged.
2. Don’t let yourself oversold
If there’s no hurry, you can ask for quotes from other car repair shops in your area. This is a good thing to do, as you may discover the first mechanic was trying to rip you off.
You can find such shops on the AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Network, to give you only an example where to start your search from. A Google search would probably do as well, but you ,may need further information about various companies, so that you make sure they provide high quality services.
3. Do the maintenance as schedules in the manual
Cars come with an owner’s manual that describes routine maintenance jobs and the intervals when they should be performed. Always do them as scheduled if you want to minimize the unexpected malfunctions of various parts that wear out. If the manufacturer recommends to change he oil and the filters every 5,000 or 10,000 miles, stick to the recommendation no matter what various mechanics may say. Some of them may want to persuade you to change your oil every 2,000 miles, but this would only be a waste of money for you, since the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it. It’s not going to harm the car, that’s for sure, but it’s going to hit a little bit your wallet.
This is the best tip to cut your car repair costs: do the regular maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer (and don’t forget to get cheap car insurance).