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5 Tips To Always Have Money For Auto Repairs

5 Tips To Always Have Money For Auto Repairs

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What is the one thing that stops you from getting the car you want? It’s the thought of paying for the maintenance and auto repairs, right? Fortunately, you can get a used car with a used car warranty so that you don’t have to shoulder all the expenses on your own. Depending on the warranty contract, some car owners only have to pay a small fee when something unexpectedly breaks in the car.

Still, that does not remove the constant fear of needing money for auto maintenance and repairs. You’ve all heard the horror stories of ballooning fuel prices, the difficulty of finding certain spare parts, and the exorbitant labor costs. The best way to combat these fears is to prepare for routine maintenance schedules, auto repairs and replacements, and maybe even do the repairs yourself.

What Kind of Repair Do Cars Need?

Whether you’re using a brand-new or used car, repairs can be minor or major. It can be as simple as changing a spark plug or as complicated as installing a new brake system. New cars will give you peace of mind for five or so years, but pre-owned cars will need more care.

As for the costs, you can always save on labor fees by doing it yourself. But if you are not familiar with cars, it’s best to leave it to the professionals because you’ll just likely waste effort and money.

1. Budget for Repairs in Advance

Auto repairs and replacements should not be shocking. A new or used car comes with a maintenance service booklet. This tells when the next maintenance schedule will be. The only thing you have to do is follow the schedule and prepare the money you need in advance. It comes with the territory of owning a car.

As for repairs, it’s best to save money for common repairs and replacements. Typically, you’ll have to change the car battery and tires between three and four years. Spark plugs and bulbs need to be changed in about three years. Depending on the usage, you might also be wearing out the belts and cables.

Minor car problems usually crop up in the third year, while significant issues will start in the fifth year. That gives car owners enough time to prepare their budgets.

2. Consider an Extended Warranty

New cars are easier to predict, but what about used or pre-owned vehicles? Isn’t it much harder to understand when problems may arise? When buying used cars, make sure you know the car's history—how many miles there are, what accidents it had been to, and what repairs or replacements were done. Another thing you can do is buy an extended warranty and car insurance for it.

A comprehensive extended warranty will help shoulder the costs of repairs and replacements. You just need to bring the car to an accredited shop so that the mechanic can negotiate with the warranty provider. Of course, you might still need to pay a small fee, but the warranty company will pay for the bigger ones.

Your car can get coverage for engine and air-conditioning problems depending on the contract. Most warranty companies will provide a towing service for free if your car breaks down and you can no longer drive it to the mechanic’s shop. Some coverages come with lodging, food, and car rental services.

3. Fix It Yourself

Sure, modern vehicles are challenging to fix on your own, but there are enough tutorials on YouTube and even online forums to teach you to fix minor issues. For example, you can easily change the engine oil, add brake fluid, and change the wiper blades and filters. The same applies to the headlights and rear bulbs.

Doing these yourself will help save money for more significant expenses and more serious repairs in the future. You don’t need to keep shelling out for minor fixes when more critical problems are ahead. You’ll be more confident knowing you have money saved up for the future.

4. Follow the Maintenance Schedule

The preventive maintenance schedule of cars is a science. Car manufacturers came up with this schedule not to get more money from you but to monitor and check the vehicle's performance. Ensuring that you follow this schedule will prevent major mishaps that often cause unnecessary repairs. Do you know that letting your engine oil work beyond the recommended 10,000 miles can damage your car?

Even in cars, prevention is better than cure. Fixing issues before they can become serious problems will save you a ton of money.

5. Don’t Pay Labor Twice

When you bring the car in for repairs, the mechanic might find some other parts that need to be fixed. Ordinarily, car owners will decline because this is an additional expense, but the truth is that you might be saving money when you choose to have both issues solved now. The mechanic will only charge a one-time labor fee for both services. But if you decide to have it fixed another day, you’ll be charged for labor again.

Mechanics will charge labor based on the time they spent fixing the car. Sure, you’ll pay for another replacement part when you were not expecting it, but it also means not paying for another four hours’ worth of service. That could easily mean hundreds of dollars.


You don’t have to be a car expert to know how to save for the big-ticket expenses of car ownership. Everyone knows about car maintenance, fuel consumption, and car repairs and replacements. This is why car owners explicitly study how expensive it is to maintain specific car models before buying them. However, knowing the basic concepts of car maintenance and financial know-how will keep you from losing money in the auto shop. You’ll reduce the stress and the amount you need to shell out.

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