Auto Repair – When You Should Pay More and When You Shouldn’t


An old saying claims that a vehicle is the worst investment that a consumer will ever make, and most individuals agree once they figure out how expensive it can be to take care of all of the maintenance needs and unexpected mechanical failures. Certified mechanics are highly skilled individuals that are certainly able to charge a significant amount of money on an hourly basis, but this unfortunately means that even smaller maintenance items are going to be very costly if taken to a dealership or repair facility. The good news is that even owners without a great deal of technical expertise can fix minor issues and take care of basic maintenance needs without relying on the professional assistance of a mechanic. However, an individual needs to understand when it may make more sense to go ahead and pay more instead of attempting to fix the problem at home.

Although it may seem to be common sense, issues that could potentially be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty should always be brought to the attention of the local dealership. A car with relatively low miles should not have any major problems, and those that do should be repaired free of charge. A common misconception is that vehicles that have not been maintained by a dealer are not eligible for warranty work, and the simple fact of the matter is that law prohibits a dealership from denying a claim simply because they were not the ones to perform oil changes and routine care. Individuals should never be afraid to perform these minor tasks at home, and can rest assured knowing that it will not void their warranty in any way.

The tools that are required for certain repair jobs can be quite expensive, but most backyard mechanics get caught up in a project and simply spend the money. Unless the tools are going to be used in the future, it may be much less costly to just allow a mechanic to perform the work. Tightening coil springs and dealing with any suspension components is going to be next to impossible without the right equipment, and these types of tasks are better left to the professionals. Some auto parts stores have tools that are available to rent, and this may make it possible to perform some maintenance and repairs. However, individuals always need to be aware of what it is going to cost them to complete a project.

Some components of a vehicle are far too important to attempt to fix without professional assistance, and an individual could actually be placing themselves in danger by messing with these parts. Airbags, for example, should only be serviced by a dealership due to the future liability and safety issues that could arise. Brakes and steering components should only be tampered with by an individual that knows exactly what to do, and it is not hard to contemplate all of the negative outcomes that are possible with an improper fix in these areas. A person needs to realize that if they do not know what they are doing, the cost to fix whatever harm they have done is probably going to be much more expensive than it would have been to just pay a professional in the first place.

Backyard mechanics often get caught up in their projects and are excited by the opportunity to fix problems without carrying the vehicle to the dealer or repair facility, but it is important to carefully weigh the costs before making any final decisions. There are certainly some cases in which it will be a far better idea to simply pay the additional cost. However, individuals that take time to learn about basic maintenance and some of the easier fixes that can be performed at home will stand to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their vehicle.

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