Auto repair and maintenance are often a big item in your household budget and, as such, it’s fairly hard to imagine how making several improvements here might be enough to introduce a major change. Sure, mechanics have their fees and price ranges and, no matter how much you believe in your abilities, you’ll still have to go to a professional, from time to time. So, for this to work, you first need to know where it’s smart or safe to try saving money. With that in mind, here are four tips that just might come in handy.
1.Get the owner’s manual
The first thing you need to do in order to cut the costs of the repair is to get your hands on the owner’s manual for your car. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that it offers specific advice on how to take care of your car, starting with scheduling maintenance and deciding which parts to get. For instance, when it comes to the type of oil that you have to use, there’s no right or wrong choice but there is such a thing as an optimal choice. This is just one of the things that can give you an edge. Even if you didn’t get the manual with the car (especially if it’s a used car), you can always download it online.
2.DIY the maintenance
There are some maintenance actions that you can perform on your own. We’re talking about the replacement of tyres, air filters, oil and spark plugs. Other than this, you can also replace the windshield wipers, which saves you a small fortune in a most peculiar way. For instance, a local auto store may offer free installation if you buy the part from them, however, they do so after inflating the price of the part or offering the most expensive model that they have in stock. As for the time-saving aspect of this plan, you shouldn’t forget that the first time you perform the repair it will take the longest. After a while, each of these replacements shouldn’t take more than 10 or 20 minutes of your time.
3.Buy parts on your own
One of the costlier decisions that you’ll ever make is allowing your mechanic to pick the parts that you’ll use. Sure, this isn’t something that’s bound to backfire, yet, in most cases, the mechanic will go for the most expensive option, seeing as how they can use it to boost their fee this way, as well. Instead, you should start buying parts on your own. Let’s say that you need a new set of tyres. In this scenario, it would be more cost-effective to look up your options online. In order to minimize the price of shipping (even avoid it), a person located in Western Sydney should probably look for cheap tyres in Blacktown. In this way, you make this regular maintenance action less expensive and more pragmatic at the same time.
4.Find a mechanic you can trust
Finally, even though we advocated the idea of doing it all on your own, it’s important that you understand that there are some instances in which you’ll definitely need a mechanic. Therefore, it’s important that you find someone you can trust, someone you know won’t try to charge extra on every occasion. Keep in mind that the role of a mechanic as a consultant is just as important. This means that just because you have someone on your retainer, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer engage in DIY repairs and acquire parts on your own. Other than trust, you need the mechanic in question to be available and accessible.
By adhering to this, not only do you stand to make your car maintenance cheaper but you also make it more efficient. The part with reading the manual affects this the most but the skill and reliability of the mechanic also play a huge part here. By making your maintenance cheaper, you’ll also be more likely to do it all by the book. For instance, replacing your tyres every 50-60 thousand miles instead of waiting for them to break one by one.