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Car ownership comes with many costs. One of the most expensive costs can be repairs – several trip to the mechanics can often cost more than the value of the car. To help save money on repairs, here are just a few cost-cutting tricks to consider.
Shop around for quotes
Staying local to one mechanic can have its advantages – if you’re on friendly terms, some mechanics may even offer loyalty discounts. That said, it doesn’t hurt to shop around and collect quotes from other repair centers just in case the price can be beaten. If you’ve diagnosed the fault, you should be able to easily collect quotes over the phone without having to take your vehicle in. You may even be able to get a quote online at some repair center websites.
Do your own repairs
Going DIY is a lot easier if you have an older vehicle – many modern cars are reliant on electrics and require specialist tools to repair, which can make doing your own repairs difficult. That said, there may still be small jobs that aren’t too risky to attempt yourself such as changing headlight bulbs and even changing brake pads. In all cases, make sure that you know your own ability – you don’t want to mess up and cause further damage to your car.
Source your own parts
Even if you don’t want to do your own repairs, you may be able to save money by sourcing your own parts. Whilst repair centers can source parts for you, they will often try to make a profit on top of any parts they buy. By buying your own parts, you don’t have to pay this extra service charge. There are many online sites for buying parts. Avoid partially worn parts if you can – as cheap as they are, they’re likely to fail sooner and you’ll be back in the same position in a few months.
Know when to cut your losses
It’s important to know when to stop pouring money into a car that keeps having faults. This is common with older cars that have exceeded their mileage – generally at this point, all the parts start to fail one-by-one. Scrapping your vehicle and buying a new car could be a more sensible investment. You can usually still make money scrapping your car. Some parts can be very valuable – catalytic converter scrap prices for examples tend to be very high due to the rare materials found in them. Stylish upholstery that is in good condition may also be able to be sold for cash.
Invest in preventative maintenance
Sometimes it’s worth paying for repairs that are advised by a mechanic even if they aren’t mandatory. Such damage could get worse if repairs are delayed – for instance, a worn brake pad could damage the tire and even affect the suspension. Small DIY maintenance tasks like topping up fluids and keeping tired pumped up can also prevent future damage and therefore prevent future repairs.