Tired of forking out huge amounts of money on car repairs? Here are a few tricks for spending less at the mechanics.
Shop around for quotes
Many of us like to stay loyal to one mechanic, but sometimes it can be worth shopping around to see what other quotes are out there. It’s possible that you may be able to collect quotes over the phone if you already know what the fault is. Be wary of quotes that are suspiciously low – it could be a sign that the repair centre doesn’t have a good reputation and is therefore compensating by offering low pricing to attract customers. You can check a mechanics’ reputation by reading online reviews.
Run your own diagnostics
When it comes to diagnosing faults, it’s possible to save money by doing your own diagnostics. You can buy car diagnostic tools online that plug into your car and are able to identify faults ranging from engine problems to electrical faults. Of course, you may not even need these tools – warning lights on the dashboard may be enough to help you identify a problem yourself.
Source your own parts
You can also save money by ordering in your own parts. While mechanics can do this for you, they’ll generally aim to make a profit on any parts they order in, resulting in your spending more. You can buy anything from a vacuum valve to a cam belt online – there are sites dedicated to car parts. Just make sure that you know the exact part you need. Used parts will generally be cheaper than brand new parts, but you may want to check what condition they’re in (if you’re buying online, make sure that photos are provided).
Do your own repairs
There are some repair jobs that you may be able to save money on by attempting yourself. Using online Youtube tutorials you can handle everything from replacing brake pads to removing dents and scratches. You may want to steer clear of anything electrical. On top of this, there may be jobs that require specific tools that you may want to avoid. However, otherwise there are plenty of repair jobs that can be easily DIYed without causing any danger.
Take preventative action
The best way to save money on repairs is to take preventative action so that damage never occurs in the first place. Adopting a smooth driving style can often prevent parts getting worn down as fast. Making sure that fluids are topped up and that tires are well-inflated can also prevent damage occurring. Finally, regularly servicing your vehicle can help to detect faults early. Many faults are easier to repair when they are small and by getting them repaired early, you could prevent knock-on damage to other parts (for instance, a worn brake pad is likely to wear down a tire and could even damage your suspension).