You might think that you need to be a mechanic yourself to make some savings on your auto repairs, but you would be surprised by how much you could save with a little bit of knowledge about how the auto industry works. Because of this belief, I am going to give you 4 great ways to save money on auto repairs.
Find a Reputable Auto Repair Shop
Ask everyone you know if they have a mechanic that they trust. A trustworthy mechanic is worth their weight in gold. If you are not lucky enough to know someone who knows a good mechanic then look for local shops that specialize in your make of car, van, or pickup truck. A reputable automotive repair store should have certified technicians on staff.
They should have certifications in one or more of eight car repair classifications, like Brakes, Steering and Suspension, or Engines. The certifications will be by Automotive Services Excellence (ASE). If they are not certified, you must know what specific training the technicians have. Ask about their credentials because it prove to be a good indicator of the calibre of the staff.
Also check the work area for a reasonably clean floor. A shop that has dirty shop rags, empty fluid containers, and other trash on the floors has mechanics that are not putting in their 100%. Avoid having these kinds of mechanics working on your vehicle.
Do Preventive Maintenance
A great way to test a shop you believe will provide a good service is to go in when you are ready for an oil change and oil filter. That is one of the most worthwhile preventive maintenance steps you can take. It also provides an opportunity to ask more questions prompted by any manual reading you might have done prior to your visit. You can also look at ways on how to protect the structure and outside of the automobile, such as pickup truck covers from https://www.peragon.com/truck-tonneau-covers/ so there is less cosmetic damage that might have the potential to turn into proper damage.
If they give you an estimate for a laundry list of added maintenance services, make sure they can show you it is a list for your specific vehicle and that it agrees with the mileage currently on your car or truck. If you cannot afford it on the day, ask which task has the highest priority and match that with your budget. Then put together a budget together and a goal for the other tasks you cannot afford on the day. Then you should cross reference this list with a knowledgeable friend.
Know the Usual Charges for Car Repairs in Your Area
There are plenty of helpful websites online that can help you better gauge how much you should be paying with useful estimates that you can run by your current mechanic to ensure that their shop is providing you with a fair price for the services provided. Often, somewhere between the lowest price and about half the way to the upper price is a fair price.
Avoid Duplicate Labour Charges
There are times when a mechanic must remove lots of parts to get at the part that is causing the current issue you are experiencing with your car. This presents an opportunity to save on future repairs by doing them now. For instance, an estimate to repair a squealing drive belt may suggest changing the upper and lower radiator hoses and a water pump and thermostat, because the mechanic has to remove these things to get to the drive belt.
To get savings from this approach, you will need to negotiate a reduced labour charge if a flat-rate manual charge was in the estimate for each separate part of the replacement. Be firm but fair with the mechanic because a reputable mechanic will be happy to enter negotiations and explain everything in detail.
To summarise, there are plenty of approaches to saving money on your auto repairs. Knowledge is power when you are dealing with a mechanic so make sure you do your research and do not let them push you into paying more then you need too for parts and repairs. Taking care of your vehicle through a mechanic is a great way to assess their trustworthiness.