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Affording Auto Repair


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Affording Auto Repair

I wish that I knew how to do my own auto repairs, but I’m just not mechanically inclined. I’ve tried to learn to do basic things, but so far it just hasn’t worked out for me. Since I can’t save money by doing my auto repairs myself, I try to save money as best I can by shopping around for the best deals in auto repair in my town. I’ve also learned that even if I can’t fix my own car problems, I can educate myself about them. You’d be surprised how many repair shops will try to charge you for unnecessary repairs. I’ve learned enough that I understand how to spot those unnecessary charges and avoid them, and I stick with the shops that I know aren’t trying to cheat me.

The Car Repair Blues And What You Can Do About It

At one time or another, you have most likely been faced with the unfortunate situation that you had to deal with a car repair, like those done at Lakeland Automotive, when you least expect it. Too often, this experience becomes one frustrating event after another. Here are some of the common frustrations that people experience and some helpful guidelines on how to deal with it.

  • Trust

    One of the common frustrations of car repair is knowing who to trust. Most people depend on their cars to run without incident day after day. So, we need to know that we are taking it somewhere that will get it right the first time, as much as humanly possible.

    Here are some steps to take make sure you have the best experience possible:

    • Get a referral from friends or family

    • Make sure the mechanic you choose is ASE Certified.

    • Search for online reviews

  • Complex Terminology

    Cars are getting increasingly complex so it is difficult for even the mechanics to keep up with all of the latest parts and repairs. The chances of someone outside the field understanding what the mechanic is talking about when explaining the problem grows more distant with every new innovation.

    Here are some tips for understanding what your mechanic is trying to tell you:

    • Look it up online. There are several automotive glossaries online. Dummies.com and Edmunds.com are both good resources.

    • Ask your mechanic to explain it in layman's terms. "What does the Throttle Position Sensor do and how do those things go bad?" is a perfectly legitimate question. If the mechanic can't explain it easily, you might be better served taking it for a second opinion.

  • The Expense

    It is a rare thing to have an inexpensive car repair. Most people are taken by surprise with an added expense that often reaches into the hundreds of dollars.

    Set a little bit aside in a special savings account just for car repairs. According to AAA, "38 percent of American drivers could pay for a $2,000 repair bill with funds in a savings account, while 20 percent would pay with their credit card. Eleven percent said they would have to borrow money from their friends, family, retirement or home equity in order to pay for a $2,000 repair."

  • The Time

    In a perfect world, mechanics would be waiting for the car went it went in the shop and the repairs started almost immediately. The reality is much different. Not only are you queued behind other people with their own car problems, but the repair may be lengthy once diagnosed.

    Try to find ways to take the stress off of the situation.

  • Arrange a deal with a friend or family member to carpool or share a car during these times.
  • Save money in your car repair account that would cover the cost of a rental car.

Car repairs can be unexpected, but they don't have to be frustrating or stressful. With a little planning and a clear mind, you can turn a smoky engine into just another walk in the park.