One of the things that car owners fear the most is dealing with the cost of auto repairs and replacements. These could easily be thousands of dollars at times, but they are completely unavoidable and come with the territory when you own a car. As with moving to another state and finding car shipping quotes online, the same applies to car repairs—you need to compare good auto mechanics and pick the right person you can trust with your car.
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When Do You Need Auto Repair?
You won’t always need to bring your car to a mechanic. If you follow the preventive maintenance schedule, there’s a huge possibility you won’t need any significant repair until the seventh year. Most new cars work well enough to reach the fifth to a seventh year without the owner needing to spend thousands of dollars. It all depends on how the owner takes care of the car.
However, there are minor repairs along the way, such as changing the cables and belts because of the usual wear and tear. These are not a cause for concern because these repairs are standard for new and old cars. So, when do repairs and replacements become a concern? The short answer is when you buy a pre-owned vehicle that has not been appropriately maintained. Some car buyers would prefer to buy a car with a lot of mileage because it is cheaper than purchasing a brand-new or slightly used car.
Follow These Steps To Make Auto Repair Affordable
Follow Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Whether new or used, the car has to undergo a preventive checkup every 10,000 miles. The car mechanic will check the engine oil, brake and transmission fluids, belts, bolts, cables, air-conditioning, engine, and other systems. If there is no major repair or replacement needed—which means the mechanic only has to tighten some screws and add fluids—car owners would only need to pay a couple of hundred dollars.
How frequently you need to go to a car mechanic will depend on how quickly the mileage meter will go up. Do you use the car for work every day? Do you just drive to and from the office, or do you take the car around the city countless times? Most cars will reach their 10,000th mile every three months, but some can reach it faster due to work and other activities.
What happens when you don’t follow the preventive maintenance schedule? The car exerts itself and ends up encountering problems. For example, the engine oil turns black and sticky if not flushed and changed regularly. This affects the engine’s components, the parts getting pressured to work more than they should. Major engine problems will cause thousands of dollars worth of repair, and it all begins with changing the engine oil in time.
Have The Car Components Repaired At The Same Time
When you visit the mechanic for a repair, he will also check your car’s other components and suggest things that need to be replaced. Because most people don’t have the extra money to have multiple car components repaired simultaneously, they’ll tell the mechanic to forego repairing what’s not needed at the moment. But the problem here is you’ll end up paying double the labor.
Having multiple systems and parts repaired will require fewer labor costs. The mechanics will give you a discount since they only need to take down the engine one time. When you decide to have the other parts repaired at another time, you’ll need to pay again for the total labor cost. You can avoid paying double the labor cost by having the car mechanic fix all needed repairs he found during the diagnosis.
Get Insurance And An Extended Warranty
Another way to always have money for auto repair is to get insurance and an extended warranty. Car insurance is legally required in all states, but you can get comprehensive insurance to shoulder even the cosmetic repairs and replacements you need. Remember that you cannot drive a car without insurance. Even taking it home from the dealership is not allowed without insurance.
On the other hand, an extended warranty will take effect once the manufacturer’s warranty has ended. It can cover the powertrain, engine, and air-conditioning system. This means that when one or more of these systems break down, you won’t need to worry about paying for them yourself. The extended warranty can cover most minor and major repairs, depending on the coverage you buy.
Include Car Repair Expenses In Your Monthly Budget
Make sure that you have money allocated for car expenses every month. Keeping $50 to $100 a month for car repairs and replacements will be a huge help when your car needs repairs in the future. Include it in your monthly budget. This is as important as other essentials, such as your grocery and utilities. The car takes you to and from work, so it’s not a luxury but a necessity.
Check Financing Options
Of course, you can also opt for financing options, such as personal loans, credit cards, mechanic financing, and non-profit lenders. If you are not prepared for the cost of auto repair, should you just let your car rot in the garage? You need to look for where you can borrow money. While personal loans and credit cards are not recommended because of the interest rates, they are better than same-day loans and other types of financing.
You can also check if your mechanic has a financing option since it is easier to get approved when the mechanic knows you personally. You can get fast approval and deal only with one agency or company.
Auto repairs and replacements are why some people are reluctant to buy a car. However, it shouldn’t affect your dream of having your own car. While expenses can sometimes turn you away from getting a personal car, there’s a way to prepare for repairs and replacements in the future.