You don’t have to be a mechanic to save money on car maintenance, you don’t even have to have an extensive knowledge of cars, parts and engines to keep auto costs low. By taking the time and certain steps in caring for you automobile you can save lots of money in the long run. On the contrary, neglecting the maintenance of a vehicle can and almost always will end up costing you thousands of dollars, below are some things you can do to ensure that your car maintenance costs will be low.
Become Familiar with Your Vehicle
The first step is learning about and getting to know your vehicle thoroughly. Read your car’s owner’s manual, the “scheduled maintenance guide” helps to inform you of the manufacturer’s recommended frequency transmission maintenance. Budgeting is easier if you know the scheduled maintenance dates, don’t wait until the mechanic tells you your parts are in need of maintenance or replacement.
The Best Help
Sooner or later, your car will need to be repaired, before your car breaks down or is in need of repairs find an auto transmission repair shop that you can trust. Your co-workers, family and friends may be able to recommend a reputable and well known repair shop, finding the best local shop beforehand will save you time and money, trying to find the best mechanic is much harder and puts you in a compromising situation if you wait until your car breaks down. You should research local shops that specialize in repairs of your car type, researching local shops also provides reliability as local shops are committed to providing the best service that helps them maintain a good reputation among locals and repeat customers who are likely to recommend their services and vouch for them.
Before trusting a certain mechanic to repair your vehicle, visit the place first. Your first impression will tell you a lot about the place, if the shop is clean and tidy as well as organized indicates that the mechanic and staff take pride in their work and can be trusted do to a good job each and every time.
Also be sure to choose a shop whose staff has certifications in different types of car repairs such as suspensions, steering, engines and brakes. A good indicator of a mechanic’s qualifications is an Automotive Service Excellence certification, if the shop’s staff does not have this certification, they should have some other sort of specific training which you should not be reluctant to ask to see.
If you are short on cash and have a list of repairs you need done, ask the mechanic which services are most needed. In finding the most budget friendly shop, your friends and coworkers should be able to tell you how much they paid for their repairs, you also can find out a rough estimate of the average cost of such repairs in your local area. You can use an online search engine to find websites in certain areas and get quotes, in some areas there are websites which can provide a list of the most fairly priced shops in your local area. Whenever you go to get an oil change, you can test the auto transmission repair shop and find answers to your questions and inquiries that are unclear after reading the owner’s manual. Any maintenance services you have should be done in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer and your car’s current mileage so that your car is kept in the best possible condition in a cost effective manner.
Take a Hands on Approach
Sometimes repairs cost more because the labor requires the removal of other parts in order to access the part in need of fixing. You can cut costs by removing and repairing parts on your own and letting the mechanic fix the main problem. For example a faulty belt drive may require the lower and upper radiator, thermostat, water pump and hoses to be removed, these things you can do yourself thus saving money on labor charges although you may have to negotiate with the mechanic prior.
You also should know the warning signs of potential problems. Things should be fixed before they become big problems. Modern vehicles give many signs when repairs may be needed, if a part is out of place a light may come on, you can check if there is a problem by checking that things are in place. If for example you remove a loose gas cap and replace the cap properly, your engine light may go out and the problem will have been resolved. When the engine light comes on, also check things such as the gasket, if it is not in the right place a problem may arise in the future and you will also know if something else may need to be repaired. Paying attention to warning signs helps in the prevention of pricier repairs. Whenever the check engine light comes on, make sure not to ignore it.
When maintaining your car, you should use a do it yourself method, some jobs are simple and do not need to be done by a mechanic. Changing things such as air filters and wiper blades you can learn how to do and ultimately will save you money.
The internet is useful in finding the most competitive prices on car parts. Shipping often may be free and sometimes is also tax free. Comparing internet prices with local prices will help you keep costs as low as possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your mechanic shop if they will accept the pre purchased parts and just charge labor, most likely they won’t mind as the only profits they make are labor charges.