Car Repairs are one of those brutal unexpected budget busters. When your car breaks down as your heading in for work, or you get your car inspected to find thousands of dollars of repairs needed, it can be frustrating. Your car is so important to you that you just want it fixed and over with quickly. I've been there. I did that for years. Then I married Mr. Busy Budgeter, who taught me the three ways that you can save on every car repair. He's not a mechanic, and you don't have to be either!
The Three Ways You Can Save On Every Car Repair
- “You Tube” it: Take specific notes when your mechanic tells you what needs to be replaced. Ask for part numbers on parts needed. If you have a great mechanic, tell him you're good at tinkering and ask him how complicated this repair is. You can also google and find out from forums if a repair is good for a beginner. Find a You Tube video (or a few) that instructs you on completing your repair. You can order parts from amazon and they can be shipped overnight. Amazon will also take information on your vehicle and tell you which parts will fit your car. If you need tools that you don't have, factor those in to the cost of the repair.
- Ask or Beg a Friend: If the repair is above your ability or you just need some guidance to start, ask around to see if you know someone who is great with cars. In the age of social media, this can be as easy as tweeting or posting “Free Pizza and a subscription to Car & Driver Magazine to anyone who wants to help fix my car this weekend!” You can buy the parts off of Amazon, and spent a few hours hanging out and learning a new trade.
- Save on Parts: If your absolutely not ready to try DIY car repair, then at least save money on parts. Ask your mechanic if you can purchase your own parts and bring them in to just pay labor. Amazon, Auto Zone and even the junk yard have parts for much cheaper than what you would pay for at the mechanic. Ask the price of the part the mechanic is ordering, then try to beat it.
We just saved almost $1,000.00 using this method. We took our van in for a state inspection and it failed the inspection. We needed to replace the outer left and right hub bearing and we needed to replace the outer tie rod end. Then we would need an alignment.
We were told it would be $1,189.38 for the repairs at the shop. We purchased the parts on Amazon and had them shipped overnight for $103.93. We paid the mechanic $15.00 for the state inspection, $1.00 to reinspect after a rejection was issued, and $90 for an alignment. In total, we paid $209.93 to fix our car and saved $979.45. It took about 2.5 hours to make the repairs and weren’t difficult at all.
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