One of the most important things you can do to avoid costly auto repairs is preventive maintenance. Regularly scheduled trips to your mechanic can save you money in the long run. Either follow your car manufacturer’s maintenance schedule or ask your repair shop if they have their own schedule.
When bringing your car in for repairs, be sure to ask for a written estimate ahead of time. You’ll also want to make sure that the repair shop will get your approval to perform any work that exceeds a certain amount.
- Brake system: It is rather obvious why brake work is so important and there is still a large number of accidents that are caused by not being able to stop. These repairs commonly take place in the form of replacing brake pads and brake lines which may not be as much of an expense as you may think.
- Lube/oil change/filters: It is common that around every 3,000 miles an oil change is needed as dirt and debris build up can wear on your cars oil. The easiest way to do this is wait for the “oil change required” signal to pop up, keep a sticker reminder on your windshield, or keeping records of it which may increase the value of the car when selling it.
- Cooling/heating (radiator): Having the proper airflow for radiator cooling is important in order to dissipate the right amount of heat. Depending on what the specific problem is the cost can range in large amounts.
- Ignition/electronic control: Typically, ignition repairs include the battery which is a quicker fix then the rest, the starter, and the ignition itself. If failure to get these checked and repaired, it may result in your car not starting at any point or shutting down and stopping in places as scary as the freeway and no potential places to try to pull over.
- Steering/suspension: Depending on the make and model of your car getting replacements in shock absorbers, coil springs, strut replacement and wheel alignment can add up to more than a few thousand dollars. It is highly suggested to not wait on these problems as the cost will just keep adding up.
- Carburetor/fuel system: If you are someone who rarely fills up their gas tank all the way and only goes off 1/4th of a tank or less, expect your cars fuel pumps to be clogged. Either way it is extremely important to get the fuel filters replaced in a consistent matter.
- Electrical system: The electrical system issues and repairs may be for things like lights, lamp bulbs or short fuses. Most of the time the best option is to get these repairs done by a professional rather than trying to do it at home.
- Transmission/clutch/rear axle: A failed clutch can make it nearly impossible to drive and can put you in a lot of danger. If the transmission and clutch is not regularly checked, you may not be able to press on the pedal while driving and changing gears are not an option anymore.
- Air conditioning: It can be border line unbarring to drive in the summertime with no air flow in your car, as soon as you feel nothing coming out of the vents or the AC isn’t where it usually, it is suggested to take it in immediately. Unfortunately, this repair is a major system and going to be a large expense.
- Exhaust systems: Exhaust system repairs typically involve replacement of mufflers, tailpipes and catalytic converters which require an experienced professional and are considered costly.