Looking to spend less on car repairs? In this article I share a few expensive mistakes that you should avoid when getting your car fixed or maintaining your car at its best.
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So I put together this quick guide to help you save money – by showing you…
Below are 5 expensive mistakes you should avoid making on your car – when it comes to fixing or maintaining it.
If you’re involved in a car accident, you should always notify your insurance provider before seeking out repairs – even if you don’t plan to make an insurance claim.
If you do want to claim compensation, it’s vital that you notify your insurer within 48 hours. You should then make your claim and wait until your claim is approved before seeking out repairs. If you seek out repairs before your claim is approved, your insurer may not pay out (something that many people fall trap to). You can however collect repair quotes in this time (in fact, many insurance companies may want you to get a quote before paying out).
If you decide not to make a claim after an accident but still plan to get repairs, you should still notify your insurer. The insurance company may cancel your policy if you don’t notify them about an accident and they then find out at a later date. This could affect your ability to claim compensation in the future and you could even be blacklisted.
When replacing parts, it’s possible to save money by buying partially worn parts instead of brand new ones. This could include partially worn tires or partially worn brakes. However, this could cost you more in the future – because these parts are already worn, they won’t long as brand new parts and you could end up getting replacements again sooner. Partially worn components may also continue to cause knock-on damage to other parts.
Whether you plan to buy wheels or engine parts, always stick to brand new parts. Providing these parts are good quality, you can guarantee that you will get good use out of them.
When getting repairs, it can be worth shopping around for quotes. However, you should be careful of choosing a dirt cheap mechanic without checking their reputation first. A mechanic charging very low prices may be making up for bad reviews. There could be a risk of botched repairs – this could result in future unnecessary repairs and may even put you in danger if certain repairs aren’t done properly.
Asking someone who is unqualified to do repairs such as a friend of a friend could be particularly risky. Make sure that you fully trust their expertise – it could be worth getting to know them first before letting them under your hood.
Going DIY can be another way of saving money on repairs. However, like trusting an unqualified friend or a cheap mechanic, you need to be able to trust your own ability. If a repair seems fairly complex and carries dangers if it goes wrong, it may be best to rely on professionals instead of attempting it yourself.
Of course, just as it is possible to overestimate DIY skills, it is also possible to underestimate them. There are some repair tasks such as replacing tires, touching up scratches and even replacing headlight bulbs (on older cars) that anyone can do without extensive knowledge or specialist tools. Don’t pay a mechanic to do something that you can easily do at home.
You don’t have to wait until a part has completely failed before getting repairs done. If a part is severely worn, it may make sense to repair it there and then – it could be cheaper and safer than waiting for it to fail.
For instance, if the timing belt on your car is quite worn, you should consider getting it fixed there and then before it breaks. When a timing belt snaps it can often cause knock-on damage on other parts in the engine. Repairing it now may cost you $300 – wait for it to break and you could end up splashing out thousands on a new engine.
The 50% rule is useful when considering whether to repair or replace a car. If repair costs come to more than half the cost of a replacement, it is usually better to cut your losses and replace. This is particularly worth considering with an older car that is likely to need repairs again in the near future.
Let’s imagine you’ve received a repair quote of $1200. If you could happily buy a new car for $2000 or less, you should consider whether it’s really worth forking out money on repairs. Bear in mind that you may also be able to make some money by selling the car for scrap.