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Three Ways to Save on Car Repairs

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For many families, car repairs are the budgetary Bermuda triangle where money mysteriously disappears. Car repairs have a way of being urgent and unavoidable, especially if you need to travel around the suburbs. Unfortunately, there is no way to plan in advance what repairs you will need, when you will need them, or how much they will cost you. In fact, the only thing you can be certain of is that something is going to break at the worst possible time. When these costs do arise, there are a few ways that you can make them easier to handle.
1. Invest in Preventative Maintenance
Cars are complex machines. Seemingly unimportant issues can quickly morph into huge problems if they are left unattended. If you want to stop small problems from escalating, then you should invest some effort into creating a schedule for having regular preventative maintenance performed on your vehicle.
For example, you should be able to recognize when you need to get your oil changed, when your serpentine and timing belts need to be replaced, and when your tires need to be rotated. While there will be costs associated with some of these tasks, they will be predictable and minimal compared to the costs you will incur if you neglect to have them performed.
2. Choose Pre-Qualified Providers
Everyone has at least one story about getting ripped off by a crooked mechanic. If you do not know much about cars, then you are basically at the mercy of the experts. Some mechanics capitalize on this situation by charging unfair rates for their services. Even if you do suspect that you are being taken for a ride, so to speak, there is usually not much you can do about it.
However, it is entirely possible to find honest mechanics if you know how to look for them. In fact, some local auto insurance providers take the job out of your hands by compiling databases of area repair shops that they consider to be trustworthy. The next time you need to take your car in to the shop, find out if your car insurance agency offers this type of assistance. If so, you will spend less time shopping around for good service, and you will end up feeling confident that you are paying a fair price for a job well done.
3. Do Your Own Repairs
One of the strongest cost drivers for car repairs is the price of labor. If you are already handy enough to have a well-stocked tool box, then you can save a great deal of money by doing certain repairs yourself. For example, if you change your own brake pads, you will go to bed that night over $250 richer than you would have if you had taken your car to a mechanic. YouTube videos are extremely useful tools for learning to make these fixes, but you can also consult your vehicle’s repair manual for help.
The Road to Savings
Car repairs are unavoidable, but it is possible to at least ease the financial blow that they bring with them. Take maintenance and repair matters into your own hands when you can. When you can’t, use whatever resources you have available to you to find honest service providers. Remember, in the end, the most important thing is that your family ends up with a safe vehicle to take from Point A to Point B.

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