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How to Save Money on Auto Repairs

Oil being drained from a GMC Sport Utility Veh...
Horror stories about auto repair shops abound in every community in the US. These stories range from the mechanic making unnecessary repairs, to overcharging for repairs, even as far as stealing from the owner's car. Car repairs are so expensive these days, everyone is looking for ways to trim the cost of auto repairs. This article will share some ways to save money on car repairs.

Consistent Maintenance Helps Minimize Repairs
Regular service and check-ups for your car will help cut down on the mechanical problems your car experiences and will help your car run more efficiently. Here are some check-ups you can do to keep your car running at its best and keep it out of the shop:
  • Schedule your vehicle for the manufacturers recommended maintenance. This includes oil changes, transmission oil changes, air filter replacement, general check-ups at designated milestones, and other items. Check your car's owner manual for these scheduled maintenance tasks and do them!
  • Keep an alert ear for strange, new sounds coming from your car. If something doesn't sound or feel right, have it checked immediately by your service professional. It might be something minor due to aging of your car, or it could be the beginning of something bigger that if left unchecked, could result in a larger, expensive repair.
  • Check for any leaking on a daily basis. Look on your driveway or where you've parked recently for any fluids possibly coming from your car. Sometimes you can identify the source of a leak by the color of the fluid. Here are some examples:
Blue - Windshield washer fluid
Dark Brown/slightly green - Gear oil
Brown - Engine oil
Clear or slightly brown - Clutch or Brake fluid
Red and oily - Transmission fluid
Bright Green - Anti-freeze

How to Save Money When Your Car Needs Service
The ideal way to prevent being over-charged or scammed is to wait at the repair shop while your car is being worked on. This isn't feasible or practical for most car owners. Here are some tips to help keep your repair cost down when your car does need repaired.
1. Don't ever say, "Do whatever it takes to fix it" to a mechanic and leave your car. This will give them free rein to do whatever they want. They may repair components of your vehicle that don't even need repaired. Get a written estimate.
2. Tell the mechanic to call you before they do any additional work not discussed before you dropped your car off. Make sure you understand the additional repairs and the cost involved before you authorize the work.
3. When you drop off your car, remove any valuables or cash from your car. This will help prevent any possible chance of theft.
4. Ask the mechanic to show you the worn or broken part needing replaced, if possible. This will help keep them honest.

Get Only Major Repairs Done
Some mechanics will recommend additional repairs to your car while a major repair is being done. This is strictly up to you and if you have the extra money to have it done, go for it. But if you're on a tighter budget, ask the mechanic if it could wait until the next time. Most times, it can wait.
If you do decide to have additional work done, get a firm cost estimate before you approve it. This will prevent unexpected surprises when you pick up your car.

Get Multiple Repair Estimates
If your town is large enough to support several auto repair shops, try getting several estimates to repair your car. When shopping around, tell each shop that you're getting prices from other mechanics. This might encourage them to sharpen their pencils. Getting your estimates in writing will ensure you have solid prices.
Talking to several repair shops will also give you insight into what is actually wrong with your car. You'll receive a free education on car repair.

If car owners keep up on scheduled maintenance and take care of minor repairs immediately, they should minimize the expensive major repairs needed. Getting several estimates in writing will keep the cost of major repairs lower.

If you live in Bend Oregon and are looking for a good reliable auto repair shop who won't charge more than is reasonable, check out our website at Auto Repair Bend. The site below will also give you tips on how to maintain your vehicle during various times of the year. www.autorepairbendoregon.com

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