Having your car break down on you is never a fun situation, and it can easily be made worse by massive repair bills. Most of us are at the mercy of our mechanics when it comes time for serious work, but we have a few tricks to help you save some cash when your car winds up in the shop next time. Here are DriverSide’s tips for saving money on car repairs.
Go Where You Trust
The first step toward keeping as much of your hard-earned dollars as possible is going to a mechanic you can trust
. If you don’t have someone you’ve worked with in the past, do your best to ask anyone local whom they would take their car to. The better you know your mechanic, the better the odds of not getting ripped off
When the diagnosis comes back, don’t just accept it as gospel. Ask for a printout of the problem and do a little homework. Knowing as much as you can about what’s going on behind those garage doors is the best step toward protecting yourself from undue charges. Go ahead and call a few other shops and see if what you’re being charged is on par. If it isn’t, discuss it with your mechanic.
If you aren’t in a time-sensitive situation, make sure to shop around. Call a few different shops for quotes and don’t be afraid to let them know what you’ve heard from other establishments. If a shop wants your business, they just might come down to your price.
In most cases, if your vehicle isn’t covered by a factory warranty, there’s no need to take it to a dealer for service. Many local shops are just as well qualified to handle whatever’s wrong with your vehicle as the dealer is. Just make sure to look for all of the correct certifications before dropping your ride off.
The Joy of Remanufactured Parts
It’s true that brand-new parts
are always ideal, but remanufactured bits can perform just as well, usually have a great warranty and cost much less. Ask your mechanic about the possibility of using remanufactured or refurbished parts. If he or she’s comfortable with using them in your situation, odds are it’ll be a great way to save some cash and do some recycling at the same time.