If you own a vehicle, you want to take good care of it so that it can carry you for many miles over several years. You may keep your car, truck, or SUV in impeccable condition, but at some point, it will need to be repaired. Vehicle repair is an important aspect of being a good car owner, but these repairs are often expensive and you may not be prepared for the significant cost. Here are three ways you can fit car repairs into your budget.
Find Discounted Replacement Parts
When various components inside your vehicle start to malfunction, you have several options for finding replacements. You may think that you need OEM equipment but this is not always true. OEM components are often expensive, but aftermarket parts offered by a third party are made with the same quality and are often more affordable. If you’re on a strict budget, you may even consider buying an old junk car to find replacement parts. Finally, you can shop sales at different automotive warehouses to find truck frame repair parts.
Consider Doing the Work Yourself
Some repairs are super simple and don’t take a lot of time to perform. If you know your way around a vehicle, you can do some of the work yourself and save money on the cost of labor. However, it is important to understand when a repair is simple enough for you to do and when you need to enlist the help of a certified mechanic.
If you don’t know what you are doing when it comes to repairing your vehicle, you could make the problem worse. Because the cost of Labor varies so widely, you can save a significant amount of money if you are able to do some of the work yourself.
Shop Around for the Best Rates
If you choose to let a mechanic perform the repair, it is important to shop around to find the best rates. You want to work with a mechanic who knows what he or she is doing and will repair your vehicle quickly and efficiently. However, you also don’t want the cost of labor to shatter your budget. Spend some time researching mechanics in your area to find someone who is both qualified and affordable.
Vehicle repairs are often expensive but they are important for caring for your car properly. Use these three tips to have your car fixed without blowing your budget.
What to look for when choosing a car service
In the process of using the car, the main elements of the engine, suspension, electrical equipment wear out – which means that sooner or later any car will require repair.
It’s good if you can repair the car yourself. But often the car owner does not have enough skills, equipment, or simply time. In such a situation, it is important to find good car repair specialists.
We will tell you how to correctly approach the choice of car service and what to look for in the first place.
Types of car services
All car services are divided into 3 large groups:
- dealership, or official;
- multi-brand, or independent;
- garage workshops.
Each car dealership specializes in one specific car brand. These are reliable organizations with a 17% market share.
The companies use only original spare parts and special professional equipment. To start work on car maintenance, each official service is accredited and receives the appropriate certification.
When you contact a dealer car service, you will definitely receive high-quality service with guarantees for any type of work. However, the services of such organizations are not cheap.
At the same time, the cost of work in multi-brand car service will be lower than in a dealership. This is due to the fact that such organizations rarely have a regular clientele, therefore, they are constantly looking for new customers. A flexible pricing policy is one of the most effective ways to attract customers.
Multi-brand also includes highly specialized car services that do not provide a wide range of repair services but perform one thing: body repair, running gear maintenance, tire fitting, etc. Independent service stations account for 31% of the total market.
Garage services are the least reliable option. These are, as a rule, small workshops in which several people work. Sometimes there are really qualified craftsmen among them, but finding them among the huge number of proposals is a very difficult task.
Most often, low-quality handicraft repairs are performed in such garages. At the same time, no guarantees can be expected, but the prices of such a service will most likely be lower.
If the official center replaces parts with original spare parts and uses consumables recommended by the manufacturer, this is not always guaranteed in a multi-brand service. For example, when replacing, another engine oil may be injected instead of the engine oil specified by the distributor.
Nevertheless, if the budget is limited, you can pay attention to independent car services. But it is worth contacting garage services only on the recommendation of trustworthy people.
Criteria for choosing a good car service
- Choose specialized services . The wider the range of services, the higher the likelihood of poor quality repairs. If there is a choice between a company focused on working only with cars, and an organization that repairs cars, trucks and motorcycles, it is worth staying at the first option.
- About acquainted with customer reviews . Having identified several suitable companies for yourself, collect all possible recommendations, reviews and opinions. The easiest way is to search for them on the Internet, reference books, periodicals, blogs. Of course, with the overwhelming number of negative assessments, it is better to refuse the services of one or another company.
- After comparing the reviews, the circle should narrow. Now you can pay attention to the pricing policy . To do this, study the information on the websites of companies or call the places of interest, noting the level of cost for yourself. We recommend choosing the middle ground: abandon the most expensive offers, but also discard the cheapest options.
- Before leaving the car for repair, visit the selected car service . In the immediate place of work, much can tell whether it is worth using the services of this company. First of all, evaluate the technical equipment. State-of-the-art equipment for repair and maintenance operations is an indication of quality service. If you can see outdated devices in the workshop, the area is littered with dirt, it is better not to trust such specialists with your car.
- Some companies provide video filming of all service processes . This is a pretty heavy argument in favor of the organization, since it is obvious that it has nothing to hide from the client.
- A small trial repair is one of the most effective ways to check. Entrust the car service to provide you with a simple service, for example, change the oil. This will allow you to form an idea of the price level. In addition, you will draw conclusions about the quality of service – in a good service they will not make you wait long in queues, they will be polite, use fresh oil, and do the job accurately.
- If the service conducts an initial inspection of the car in the presence of the owner, this indicates the reliability of the company. During the inspection, the foremen determine the general condition of the car and identify breakdowns that need to be eliminated. Then they agree on the work, their sequence and cost with the client.
Where to find a suitable car service
At the initial stages, the easiest way is to search for car services via the Internet – this will narrow the range of choice to a few companies.
First, go to a search engine and see which sites are listed on the first lines of the search results. If a technical center has a website, this already indirectly speaks of the solidity of the enterprise.
In addition to the Internet, you can use the classic search method – word of mouth. Ask friends and acquaintances about the experience of contacting certain car services. Ask your interlocutor questions about the following nuances:
- efficiency of service provision;
- the nature of communication on the part of the staff;
- the appearance of the company premises;
- the possibility of obtaining a preliminary consultation;
- technical equipment of the company.
A good company can be considered a company that works quickly, using modern equipment, in a clean, tidy room, communicating politely, and providing guarantees.
Finally, you can drive around the city on your own and visit several organizations. You should not trust the car repair to the first company you come across – compare at least 5-6 options. It will take more time, but you will see everything with your own eyes and will be able to independently make a first impression of the services in order to choose the most suitable one in the future.
So, in order to choose a suitable car service, you should pay attention only to specialized dealer technical centers or multi-brand companies. When you contact a garage workshop, you risk getting poor service – then you not only will not save but may also face additional costs.
When comparing car services, you need to take into account several fundamental factors: the level of technical equipment, the range of services, prices, details of the services provided for customers. If you approach the choice taking into account the above recommendations, you will be able to transfer the car into good hands and find the optimal balance of price and quality.