How Much Should You Pay for Auto Repair?

No one likes paying for auto repairs. While they’re often necessary to keep your car running and in tip top shape, the often unexpected cost one incurs when fixing a car can cause people to delay the repairs, which can often compound the issue and make things worse. To make things worse, different auto repair shops will often charge you different prices for the same or similar services or products, which brings about the question: How much should you be paying for car repairs?



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To start, you shouldn’t have to pay much if you keep up on your car’s maintenance. This typically involves routine oil changes, usually every 3,000 miles or three months, though going as long as six months or even a year is acceptable on some newer models of cars. Every year or two you should also have a routine check-up to check the performance of key components of your car and to see if any of them need to be repaired or replaced. The longer you go without doing this, the greater the chances of something wrong - and expensive - happening down the line. As such, due diligence is important to prevent costly auto repairs.

If you do need to have repairs performed on your car, you will find that auto repair costs vary from location to location. Before picking a mechanic willy nilly so as to fix the problem as quickly as possible, you should always call several places to compare the cost of services, parts, and labor to see who has the best possible price. You should also always make sure that the person that the mechanic you choose is certified, though pretty much all major mechanics are certified.

If the problem doesn’t involve major components such as the engine, then you can always attempt to repair the problem yourself. Many issues with cars, such as worn brake pads, a weathered serpentine belt, and a simple clogged air filter, can be fixed at home with parts purchased from an auto supply star. Provided you have a guide or have done it yourself, you can save upwards of hundreds of dollars by performing the auto repairs on your own, though you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing, lest you make the problem worse and are forced to pay way more than you would have if you had just gone to a mechanic in the first place.

Before paying too much for auto repair, you should look up an auto repair estimator and compare the estimates received from the various mechanics you checked out to ensure you’re not overpaying or being swindled. When getting estimates in person, always do your research beforehand to ensure that an untrustworthy mechanic won’t take advantage or your lack of knowledge of auto repair and your specific issue.

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Posted on June 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM