Everything costs more these days, from the basic necessities to the nice things people love to have. Cutting corners on a few things means more for the finer things in life. Keeping your car repaired can be pricey, but here are some tips for repairing a car for less.
DIY oil change It is easier than you think to change your own oil and it's a cheap way to extend the life of your car. Change it at every 3,000 miles to save wear and tear on your engine. The price that you'd give a basic car service to change your oil is marked up for "labor". Save this fee by buying a filter, oil and a one-time charge for an oil-filter wrench (much easier than the screwdriver method).
DIY A/C checks Do you pay your mechanic or go to a dealership to get your yearly air conditioning check? Save this $50 charge and do it yourself. It is as simple as getting a $5 part from your local auto parts store.
DIY fuel filter replacement Change out your own fuel filter. A clogged filter will crush your gas efficiency, so you'll be saving the cost of the fuel filter replacement and additional funds at the pump by doing it yourself.
Get multiple offers If you have a costly problem that needs fixing, get a few estimates of the repair cost. Going to only one location and paying what they quote could mean overpaying. Get three different estimates and choose the one you are most comfortable with.
Take your own parts Many times you can buy your own parts and have the mechanic install them at a cheaper rate than if you have the mechanic buy the parts. You may be able to find online deals or other breaks in the price and save a little bit on the overall cost of the car repair job.
Get referrals Ask around and see if anyone does mechanic work as a side job instead of their full-time job. These "shadetree" mechanics may do a great job at half the price, but keep in mind that you are going to have to vet this trick for potential problems before agreeing on the price and job. However, even though this is a "buyer beware" idea, many times you're going to get great work for less money.
Be prepared Preventing problems is always cheaper than fixing problems.
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on car insurance, home repairs, social media and small business.