How to Lower My Car Repair Costs?
How Can You Save on Car Repairs?
Repair costs form a sizeable chunk of your car’s overall expenditure. Every year you have to set aside a portion of your income to service and repair your ride, and sometimes it can cost you way more than you thought.
But is there is a way to keep repair costs down? Of course, the answer is yes, and this article will highlight the means to do just that, including doing some of the work yourself by using a car service manual and purchasing high-quality parts from a reputable manufacturer.
Use a Repair Manual and Cut Labor Costs
Any vehicle owner who’s a bit handy should know the value of car service and repair manuals. Indeed, they are much more than just a collection of repair instructions; they are your best friend and mentor when it comes to guiding you through all the maintenance and repair work.
Using a repair manual can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs alone. How? Well, every time you visit the dealership or a repair shop, you pay for the parts and labor. For example, spark plugs cost on average between $15-$30, which is fairly cheap. However, the dealership could charge you as much as $100 to $150 to replace them. So, in total, you end up paying a lot more for something that you could have very well done on your own.
And the same applies to pretty much any service and basic repair job. Changing brake pads and ball joints are relatively straightforward when you know where to start. This is where a service and repair manual will come in handy, providing all the necessary instructions so that you don’t have to go to the dealership anymore. Plus, the knowledge you gain stays with you forever — you could help your friends or family in case something goes wrong as well.
Preventive maintenance helps keep repair costs down; think of it as a vaccine preventing actual diseases from infecting you. Likewise, keeping up with your car’s recommended maintenance schedule prevents more complex problems from arising later on. For instance, omitting to regularly replace components could harm the engine and eventually lead to a wide range of failures. And for the record, overhauling an engine costs way more than simply replacing coolant every once in a while.
It’s also important to mention that maintaining your car is an ongoing process. You cannot expect your vehicle to deliver the same performance year after year, without running into problems if you service it only once every five years. A car is subjugated to a lot of wear and tear and needs constant looking after.
For instance, regular oil changes (follow the manufacturer’s recommendation) are a must if you want to keep your engine running smoothly. Dealerships know this and will be happy to remind you each time you need an oil change, which is certainly convenient for them. However, it also means you’ll pay a significant sum of money for what is basically nothing more than a 20-minute job.
You should also replace the brake pads regularly, as a worn-out pad could damage the rotors and calipers, leading to more expensive repairs down the line. In this case, a service and repair manual is more than enough for the job and will save both time and money. However, if you are still new to DIY mechanics, we would recommend leaving more demanding tasks, such as replacing a timing belt, to the pros — you could do more harm than good if you aren’t sure of what you are doing here.
Don’t forget the cosmetics either, if you need to get bumper scuff repairs or scratches removed, don’t hesitate.
Use High-Quality Fluids and Parts
When it comes to replacement parts, cheaping out is usually a bad idea. The last thing you want to do is buy low-quality engine oil and regret it later. You may think you are cutting costs by opting for cheaper alternatives, but it will only cause repair bills to skyrocket over time.
Furthermore, poor quality materials also pose a significant safety hazard. For instance, knock-off brake components might fail at the worst moment — in fact, there is never a good moment for brakes to fail, right?
All in all, buying cheap parts or low-quality fluids is always discouraged. It will not save you money and will affect the overall performance of your vehicle.
Similarly, buying the right manual is also essential. You will find various service manual software out there, but not all of them are worth it. They sometimes lack technical specs or wiring diagrams, which may cause problems when tackling bigger jobs. We recommend purchasing from trustworthy suppliers such as eManualOnline and its massive arsenal of OEM repair manuals, basically the same ones used by dealer technicians.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Car
Let’s be honest here; lowering your car’s repair costs is not an overnight process. You’ll have to be consistent and abide by the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. Make it a habit of inspecting your car for damages or worn-out parts once a month so you can detect problems before they even arise.
And even if you realize that replacing a faulty component is above your skill level, bringing your car to the repair shop always costs less than waiting for your car to stall and having to call for a tow truck.
All in all, always keep in mind that the easiest way to keep repair costs on the lower side is to keep your vehicle well maintained. Conduct regular inspections using a trusted service and repair manual, never resort to cheap parts or low-quality fluids and fix whatever you can fix on your own. Doing so is vital to keep repair bills light on your pocket in the long run. You might think it’s a bit costlier at first, but trust me, it will eventually be all worth it.