Keeping a vehicle in the best running condition reduces the likelihood of costly repairs or permanent damage. But when maintaining vehicles and replacing parts, there are affordable ways to keep repair costs low.
Doing basic maintenance and repairs keeps costs as low as possible.
The affordable way is to buy a vehicle repair manual, such as a Haynes manual, from a local auto parts store and perform many of the basic repair work instead of going to a mechanic. Oil changes, tune-ups and brake work are some of the more common tasks even a semi-skilled mechanic can perform at home and save money on maintenance and repairs while knowing the job was done right.
Finding a reliable mechanic or repair shop
If a mechanic is needed, it helps if there is a skilled one available who can do repairs in a reasonable amount of time from his or her own home. Asking friends for recommendations might turn up such a mechanic. But if one is not available, the next best thing is a reputable repair shop that will allow the vehicle owner to supply the parts needed for the repair work. It helps to find one with a reasonable hourly labor rate and especially if a free diagnosis is provided. Money will be saved on the cost of parts while ensuring the job is done right.
Shopping for aftermarket parts and tires
When buying new tires, for example, the Internet can be a great resource for saving money. Sites like SimpleTire.com help car owners find the correct size tires for the lowest rate possible, saving potentially hundreds of dollars in the process. Shopping online for brake parts and other common wear-and-tear items from local parts stores also significantly can reduce costs.
Salvage yards – good parts for less money
If in need of an alternator, starter motor, radiator or other parts, salvage yards many times have quality parts available for low prices. There usually will be no core charge, and many parts are harvested from vehicles that were involved in accidents but had little if any damage impacting the parts needed. In such instances, a great deal of money can be saved while obtaining a perfectly good part with a lot of life left in it.
Taking the right steps to lower vehicle repair and replacement costs can save a lot of money for car owners. Make sure you know where to look and what you are looking for – don’t get swindled into paying more than you need to!