A broken down car can be a big headache; commuting, carpooling, running errands, all can be interrupted when your vehicle is down for the count. Car repairs can be expensive too. Not only are you paying for the repairs, you’re paying for parts and labor as well. There are ways to manage this unexpected expense if you’re willing to take a deep breath and bite the bullet.
Regular car maintenance will help you to avoid a lot of stress. A car that is well taken care of will take care of you. Change your oil regularly, check your fluids and have your car checked once or twice a year by a mechanic. You can never be too sure when it comes to your vehicle.
Always acknowledge when your car is not running correctly. We have all noticed when it takes a little longer for the battery to turn over, when the engine makes a funny sound, or the power locks stop working. Addressing these problems when you notice them may result in a quick, inexpensive fix.. Unfortunately, automobile problems don’t go away; they grow. Pay attention to your check engine light and other warning signs and you can repair your car on your timeline and within your budget.
Try to set aside a little money every month which is dedicated to car repairs. You know that you don’t need to purchase premium gasoline for your car, so put the difference in a savings account for emergencies. Those dollars will add up! Car repairs become much less stressful if you have the funds saved up to cover the costs.
If you find yourself in an emergency car repair situation, stay calm. If you do not have triple A or some other road side assistance, spend a few moments calling different towing companies for a quotes. If you jump at the first company you call, you may miss out on some savings.
Know where you want to have your car towed. If you have a dealership or mechanic that you trust go there. You may be able to negotiate a price or payment plan if you bring your car to an establishment or service center with whom you already have relationship. Call your insurance company too. They may cover some repairs or the cost of a rental car, so you are not without transportation while your vehicle is being fixed.
Explore Your Options
Once your mechanic has given you an estimate of the work, discuss all your options, He or she may be able to get your car up and running by fixing part of the issue, but leaving some more detailed and more expensive work for later. If you go this route, make sure you start budgeting for the repair and schedule the maintenance for sooner rather than later, so you don’t end up in the same situation in a month or two. See if your mechanic can offer financing or a payment plan/. The interest rate might be lower than putting the repairs on your credit card. Discuss the overall health of your vehicle. At some point, the law of diminishing returns comes into effect, and it will make more financial sense in the long run to purchase a new (or new to you) car than repair your current vehicle.
Car repairs are inevitable. Every vehicle ends up in the shop at some point. With some scheduled maintenance budgeting, and planning, car repairs don’t have to break the bank, your budget, or cramp your style.