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Five ways to save on car repair

Five ways to save on car repair

With inflation soaring to its highest level in 40 years and supply chain issues stifling parts deliveries, auto repair costs have turned even higher.

for example. US Department of Labor statistics show that costs for auto parts and equipment also rose 15% from 2021. It is the highest price increase since 1974, the US government reports.

Adding fuel to a fire is an emerging shortage of auto shop technicians due to early retirement of auto repair specialists and advances in auto repair technology (such as calibration and electric vehicle operating systems).

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 4% annual decrease in the number of qualified auto repair technicians over the next seven years. The shortage of experienced auto technicians is a big reason why auto shop labor costs rose 7.4% in the last quarter of 2021.

Five ways to reduce car repairs

To seize the wheel and control the rising costs of auto repair, car owners should take any or all of the following tips from auto maintenance experts.

maintenance first. The most proven practice for saving on car repairs is to prevent them in the first place by following your car’s routine maintenance schedule.

โ€œIf your budget is tight and unable to pay for a full service package, focus on maintaining consumable parts and items from your vehicle, such as tires, brakes, oil and air filters,โ€ Tim Prescott said. , managing editor of Certainly Cars. “This will ensure that the car continues to run smoothly and will not need to work as hard as you need to, which prevents premature wear of the rest of the car.”

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Prescott also noted, “If you want to save some money, there are YouTube videos on how to change these essentials for almost every car.”

Go to an independent auto repair center. Many car owners focus on finding the cheapest quote they can without checking reviews or researching whether that particular garage has a good experience with their type of vehicle.

This can lead to inappropriate or incomplete repairs, which can cost you twice the time and money to fix in the long run,โ€ Prescott said.

On the other hand, he noted, “many consumers also believe that the dealership is the only trusted place to get their cars fixed.” โ€œHowever, there are many reputable independent mechanics and garages that provide excellent service as well.โ€

In fact, labor costs can be 30% to 50% lower in a stand-alone garage than in an official dealership.

“Another added benefit is that you have a better chance of negotiating the total estimate price at an independent store as well,” Prescott added.

Choose aftermarket parts instead of original OEM parts. While some car owners insist on using only genuine parts, these parts are much more expensive than aftermarket replacement options.

โ€œThere are a number of reputable brands that can provide a similar level of quality for a fraction of the price,โ€ said Jake Mayock, founder and content writer at https://tuningpro.co, an auto maintenance blog.

For example, Mayock said he recently changed the rear shocks on his 2002 Suburban.

“OEMs replacement shocks were valued at about $400 per shock,” he said. โ€œThe car has 220,000 miles, and is probably only a few thousand dollars worth. Instead of paying $800 for a set of OEM shocks, I chose an aftermarket brand and paid a total of $120.โ€

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Ignore the minor problems that repair shops find in their inspection. Over the past few years, nearly every repair shop has started doing full checks on the cars they repair.

โ€œThey then figure out five or six other problems your car might have, and then suggest you fix them as well,โ€ Mayock said. “While some of these issues may be valid, there are a lot of fix suggestions that don’t really need to be addressed right away.”

Space out any repairs that need fixing but aren’t immediate concerns. Repairs such as oil leaks can be pushed to deal with more urgent problems.

โ€œAlthough oil leaks are something that will eventually have to be fixed, you can usually continue to drive with the leak for thousands of miles, as long as it is not severe,โ€ Mayock said. “Understanding the repairs that need to be addressed immediately versus the ones that can wait is a great way to budget for your vehicle’s repairs and allocate any expenses to fit your budget.”

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