Making the decision to buy a car comes with a number of huge benefits. You can take trips whenever you want to, you can get to work without a hassle: in a nutshell, a car gives you the freedom to live life on your terms. That’s not to say, however, that owning an automobile doesn’t come with some drawbacks.
As millions of Americans have had to learn the hard way, owning a car is an investment. Beyond paying tens of thousands of dollars to purchase your vehicle, you can expect to spend an additional $9,000 a year on repairs and general maintenance, according to ConsumerReports.org. Having said that, if you’re smart about it, you can own and maintain a car for a lot less than that.
Four Tips for Saving on Auto Parts and Repairs
- Buy Auto Brake Parts Elsewhere
- Channel Sherlock Holmes
- Don’t Choose the First Shop That You Find
- Buy Discount Auto Body Parts
As the Christian Science Monitor writes, one of the best ways to save on auto repairs is to buy the parts you need from someone other than your mechanic. Say, for example, you need to replace your brake rotors and brake pads. If you buy from your mechanic, they will generally charge you an additional fee so that they make a profit on the parts. However, if you buy parts for your brake rotors replacement from an online store, for instance, you’ll only pay for the price of the parts.
It’s no secret that many disreputable car repair shops will try to tell you that something is wrong with your car when it’s in no need of repairs whatsoever. That’s why LifeHacker recommends all drivers buy a code checker for their cars. If you think something is wrong, you can plug the code reader into your car, doing the important detective work for yourself. This is a great way to avoid paying for repairs you never needed in the first place.
For Money QandA, few things are more important for saving money on your car bills than learning to shop around for service. Whether you need your exhaust fixed or your spark plugs changed, taking your car into the shop without first checking around and comparing prices can mean spending hundreds more than you need to. Do your homework first.
Dealers specializing in discount auto body parts have become one of the best parts about the internet revolution. By doing a Google search for discount auto body parts, you can find everything from a turbo kit to an air filter for significantly less than you could if you were shopping in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. However, when buying discount auto body parts, you need to be careful, as About.com suggests. Do your research into the reputation for customer service and product quality each of your prospective vendors sports. You don’t want to be spending your hard-earned money, or risking your safety, on junk.
Do you have any tips on how to save on auto parts, repairs, and normal maintenance that you’ve learned over the years? Let us know in the comments below!