Car Maintenance on a Budget

car-maintenance-on-a-budget

Maybe you have had this happen before. You are driving down the highway and you hear a noise you haven’t heard before. After a bit, it seems to go away, until the next morning, you hear it again, only this time it sounds like something has come loose in the front end of your vehicle. As you ponder this thought, the car seems to be slowing down.

Wait, it is slowing down, so you turn the steering wheel to the right and glide onto the shoulder of the highway. You get out, try to figure out how to open the hood, then get back in the car and call your spouse. It’s official. Your car is broken. Panic sets in while you try to decide what to do next, and your first thought is it’s a week and a half until payday.

So the question becomes, how do you get your car repaired for the least amount of money, but with the best quality workmanship? Followed by, is the car repairable?

Many drivers will agree that the worst decision is to take your automobile to the dealership where you bought it. Sure, you would think they would be the best at repairing their own cars, and probably are. But, if you are working on a tight budget, you can be sure that the price for repair at the dealership will be more expensive than elsewhere, simply because of their large overhead. Will not using the dealership cancel your warranty? In most cases, no, but keep your receipts and service records just in case.

Independent repair shops can be excellent sources for good technicians and fair pricing. When you establish a good working relationship with your nearby mechanic, and you like his work and fees, you may save money. You can check the Automotive Service Excellence website to see if your local repairman is certified and properly trained.

If the amount of money to repair your vehicle outweighs the amount your car is worth, you can still save money by calling one of the online companies that buy vehicles that are in ill repair. They will give you a quote online or by telephone, come pick up your car, and pay you cash. You never know until you try, but you could be making enough profit on your old car to go ahead and spring for a new one. A new vehicle that does not need any repair is better than a vehicle that needs expensive repair, especially on a tight budget.

Some tips to remember, if you do try to get the best repair price possible are:

  • Shop around for the best quote. Many times repair costs can vary greatly. You won’t know if you don’t make those calls.
  • Sometimes repairmen are willing to negotiate. Tell them about the lower prices you have found and see if they might come off the original quote. There is always a little wiggle room when an owner wants to keep a good customer.
  • Get educated. Go online and see if you can glean some information about what might be wrong with your car. Then, research average repair costs for that particular problem. Being informed is always the best way to get a fair price.

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