Nobody wants to spend a lot of money on auto repairs.  It isn’t fun and it isn’t always easy to find the cash for, but often these car repairs are unavoidable if you want to keep it running. There are many ways you can help minimize the pain to your pocket.  These tips from an auto repair professional should help you make the most of your money when it comes to car repairs.

Know Your Auto Warranty

It may seem elementary to mention the warranty, but you’d be surprised how many people either forget about the length of their auto warranty or fail to realize all of the repairs and conditions that may be covered.  Every new automobile will carry a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty.  This means you have three years or up to 36,000 miles from the date of the auto’s manufacture.  This type of “bumper-to-bumper” warranty will cover most everything except normal wear and tear items.  Although this is the standard, some of the new cars out there carry a much longer warranty period or offer longer warranty periods on certain things.  It is important that you know exactly what is covered under your particular manufacturer’s warranty and for what length of time.  Some of the late model autos also have an extended powertrain warranty.  This may run anywhere from 5 to 10 years up to the lifetime.  Making yourself an informed auto owner can save you big money if your warranty allows for free repairs of some type at the dealership, and that is something you don’t want to miss out on!

D-I-Y – When to Fix it Yourself and When You’re Better Off at the Auto Shop

For those who are mechanically inclined, there are a variety of auto repairs and regular maintenance issues that can be done without a certified mechanic.  Basic maintenance can be performed by nearly anyone that takes the time to inform themselves about how to do it.  Auto repairs and maintenance like changing filters, many hoses, spark plugs, and even replacing some sensors and other parts can be safely done by someone other than an auto repair professional.  Be advised that many repairs will require the use of special tools or equipment and you never want to unnecessarily replace anything, therefore you should be completely sure of your diagnosis before starting work.  If you feel confident that you (or someone you know) has the necessary tools and knowledge to complete the task, it can save you labor costs that dealerships or mechanics will charge for their services.  On the other hand, trying to embark on a repair that is greater than one’s capabilities can result in a much MUCH greater cost to the car owner.  If you do not have total faith and trust in the person getting under your hood, you are likely better off taking your car or truck in to a trusted auto repair shop that will have all of the proper know-how and tools needed, as well as a guarantee on their work.  Guesswork and unskilled mechanics can cause extensive damage to a vehicle and some of these so-called mechanics count on an auto owner’s lack of knowledge to get the car into their hands without any regard to what it will end up costing you.  NEVER turn your car over to a mechanic you haven’t checked out!

Head to an Independent Auto Repair Shop – Dealerships Cost WAY More!

Taking your car to the dealership can cost you big bucks if you’re not under warranty.  While they may provide great service, you are definitely paying for it.  Independent auto repair shops will typically charge less per hour for labor than any dealership and be able to offer more affordable alternatives to the original equipment replacement parts used by dealerships.  Some of these shops even offer coupons if you check their website and directory listings.  Once you have checked a repair shop out and see that they have satisfied customers, they are likely to provide the good service you read about without the huge costs associated with dealership repairs.  If OEM parts are important to you, at most independent auto repair shops you will be able to specify your choice of parts, with options including OEM, and new or re-manufactured aftermarket partsRe-manufactured parts are usually the most cost-efficient option and, if purchased from a reputable supplier, will have at least a 1-year warranty.