How to Save Money on Auto Repairs
The yearly cost of auto maintenance and repairs for a single driver range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. Here are some things you can begin doing immediately to reign in those costs and get your repair bills under control.
Be a Responsible Driver & Car Owner
Some drivers may be unaware of the control they have over future car problems. Riding your car hard – as in, sudden acceleration and braking – take a toll more quickly over the parts being used. When you floor the gas, you are putting a bigger strain on engine components that can damage your pistons, connecting rods, transmission and axles.
More important, of course, is that you raise your chance of getting in an accident. There are millions of car accidents each year in the US. Driving with care not only saves lives and trips to the hospital, but it extends the life of your vehicle.
Look Into Suggested Repairs & Research Fair Pricing
Sometimes you need to do a little research on the repair in question in order to know how much it should actually cost. If a mechanic or dealership has suggested some repairs, your first step should be to find out more about the items in question. Perhaps some are more urgent, while others are optional. A quick Google search will give you an idea of what to expect so you can make an educated decision about how to move forward. Websites such as RepairPal and AutoMD offer estimated price ranges for common repair jobs, which can help drivers find better options.
DIY Auto Maintenance
Many basic car maintenance needs are simple fixes that don’t need to be done by a professional mechanic. When you pay for repairs, much of the cost goes into the labor, which can be over $200 an hour in some locations.
Taking control of routine maintenance can reduce repair costs by keeping your vehicle in good health. While you certainly don’t want to get in over your head, here are some highly doable tasks that save drivers cash (check your owners manual for more details before doing your own maintenance):
- Air filters. Some recommend changing it annually. This is done by opening the hood, removing the old one, and replacing it with the new one. Don’t forget to close the metal clips afterward.
- Spark plugs. These also need to be changed every so often. You may need a spark plug socket and extension for this step. The new spark plugs can be screwed in by hand and tightened with a wrench.
- Oil and oil filters. Many people change their own oil and/or oil filters periodically. It’s a dirty but necessary job that can save you cash every six months.
- Battery maintenance. This is another important task, since a problematic battery can keep your car from starting – a problem that is easy to avoid. A simple visual check of the condition of your battery will tell you when you need to perform this process. There are many substances used to clean batteries. Just make sure the job gets done before corrosion builds up and causes problems.
- Top off fluids. A trip to the mechanic usually comes with a promise of checking and filling fluids, which keep the different components of a vehicle operating at optimal capacity. Take charge of this area and you’ll reap the benefits on the road and in your pocketbook.
Carry Comprehensive Auto Insurance
One of the roles of auto insurance is to control costs in case of an accident or event that causes damage to your vehicle. Failing to carry it not only can cause the driver to pay for expensive repairs out of pocket, but it can also lead to legal penalties, depending on your state laws.
If you have any questions about whether you’re sufficiently covered, get in touch with an Amigo Insurance agent as soon as possible and ask about your options. Part of the role of an agent is to help drivers understand their options, the difference between different types of insurance, and which plans make the most sense for their needs.
To help take control of your auto expenses, find an excellent insurance plan that covers all your auto needs by contacting Amigo Insurance today. Our agents are ready to help you compare quotes and find the best deal available!