Auto Repair: 3 Tips To Save Money

Much of your modern life depends on reliable transportation. Today's modern vehicles are designed to last 10 years or over 200,000 miles. Getting your vehicle to this milestone, however, requires some proactive preventative maintenance. Unless you're a mechanic, this means making friends with a local auto repair shop like Soundside Automotive. 

When you take your vehicle to your local auto repair shop, here are 3 easy ways to save money:  

Demand Simple Perks

Did you know that keeping your vehicle's tires properly inflated can improve its fuel efficiency and longevity? Wouldn't it be great to have someone help you with a simple thing like keeping your tires properly inflated free?  To keep your business, auto repair shops may agree to perform simple services like inflating your tires or topping off your fluid levels for free. You often just have to ask.

Consult Your Owner's Manual

Every vehicle has its mechanical strengths and weakness. Your vehicle's manufacturer provides you with an owner's manual to help you, help your vehicle last. Your owner's manual specifies the types of services needed at particular mileage or usage milestones. For instance, if your vehicle features an interrupter timing belt, failing to having it replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 can create catastrophic damage if it breaks while you're driving. Every vehicle has some acute mechanical need, and consulting your owner's manual will help you figure out what it is and how to address it, without spending more money on more general "tune-ups" offered by auto repair shops. 

Itemize, Compare, Negotiate then Commit

One of the biggest mistakes a consumer can make is committing to a repair without fully understanding what they're paying for. When you bring your vehicle into an auto repair shop, you should always ask for an estimate before you commit to having work done on your vehicle.

When you receive your estimate, it's important to ask for an itemized breakdown of the costs associated with your auto repair. You should pay particular attention to three particular types of costs:

  • Cost of the Parts: how much are you being charged, per item, for the parts needed to repair your vehicle?
  • Cost of the Labor: how much are you being charged, per hour, for the labor needed to repair your vehicle?
  • Miscellaneous Costs: how much are you being charged for other things that don't fall into the previous two categories?

Once you have an itemized understanding of the quoted price for your vehicle's repair, you should compare these costs using the following measures:

  • What's the average cost for these repairs in your area? Where you live can drastically impact how much you pay for your auto repair services.  
  • How much do the parts needed for your repair cost online? You can often find auto parts from online suppliers for much cheaper. Investigate if you can find the parts needed for your repair for significantly cheaper online.
  • Do other auto repair shops charge similar miscellaneous repair fees? Call a few competing auto repair shops in your area; even if you don't ask for a competing quote, inquire about the miscellaneous repair fees listed on your itemized quote.

If you discover that your itemized repair quote is incongruous with the information you're able to gather, you should consider negotiating with the auto repair shop. Because the repair shop has already invested time giving you the quote and performing the inspection, they are often very eager to keep your business, even if that means lowering auto repair quote. Only after you have itemized, compared, and negotiated, should you commit to having your vehicle serviced at an auto repair shop.

If you depend on your vehicle, you depend on its trustworthiness. These tips will help you keep your vehicle dependable and help you save money in the process.