Everyone that owns, leases or pretty much drives a car has felt that niggle of discomfort when something goes wrong with their motor. It is that deep throb in the pit of their stomach that lets you know your problems are about to get multiplied because a car repair isn’t just a car repair; it is the time they’re in the shop, the hassle of getting around without a car and, worst of all, the expense, in which you can’t shake the thought you are getting ripped off. After all, you’re no mechanic. In fact, you don’t know anything about cars or engines whatsoever.
Charged for unnecessary work, hit with a huge markup on parts, told it took twice as long as expected – it all sucks, which is why we have come up with some solid words of advice on how you can save a small fortune the next time your car makes the kind of clunking noise that has your palms sweating.
1. Find A Goodie And Stick
Good mechanics are hard to come by, so if you find one that you trust, one that is reasonably priced, one that doesn’t talk to you like a moron and one that can explain exactly what work they have done, then you need to hold on to them forever. Your car is going to go wrong more times that you care to accept, so you want to build a relationship with someone who deserves your money.
2. The More Quotes The Merrier
One of the best – and most sensible – thing you can do is shop around for numerous quotes and see how much the prices vary and why. But don’t just do this blindly. Get some guidance. Use this time at different garages to see if anyone has tried to pull the wool over your eyes. A great way to protect yourself on this front is to get written estimates and make sure they are valid for the duration of you shopping around, before committing to a garage.
3. DIY The Repairs
This is one of those areas where a lot of people tend to panic because, well, a car is not a toy. That said, with a plethora of tutorials on Youtube.com and the chance to get parts wholesale from places like ctisupply.com, you are going to be saving yourself a ton of money on a) labor, b) markups and c) cowboys overcharging you. Sure, there are some things you should never do yourself (#clutch). But there are a lot of fixes that barely touch the complex-o-meter.
4. DIY Diagnostics
Like the rest of the world, cars have become more and more reliant on technology, which is good for you because it means you can perform your own diagnostics with a simple OBD-II scanner. It could be an actual scanner or it could connect to your smartphone. The point is, they will take any bleeps and car talk and translate the problems into a language you can understand. What you do with that information is up to you. You could use it to show a mechanic you know what you are talking about or you could use it to do the work yourself.