Everything about car repairs is an inconvenience. The cost of getting your vehicle from point A to shop B, the cost of repairs; the cost of rentals. Many of us make sacrifices that lessen the burdens of repairs.
In the short-term, such choices might appear a relief. In fact, they do long-term damage to both your vehicle and pocketbook.
According to Polk research, the average age of all cars on the road is more than 11 years. Compared to cars on the road in 1995, that number is up roughly eight years. Informed consumers are holding on to their vehicles for as long as 200,000 miles. This means keeping up with scheduled maintenance. It also means choosing the right shop for your accident repairs.
Most of us are guilty of favoring cost-cutting or sham repair jobs. They are repairs that get our cars back on the road and driving. Taking the time to do research can seem bothersome. More bothersome when faced with repair costs.
However, reaching the rarely uncharted territory of 200,000 miles means thinking of your car as a long-term investment. In other words, choosing the repair shop nearest to you over the right shop could cost you thousands down the line.
Drivers who maintain their cars for 200,000 miles can save upwards of $30,000. You might save several dollars on an Uber picking up your car but cost yourself much more in the long-term.
The last thing to consider when looking for the right repair shop is how close it may or may not be to your location. A quick search for mechanic or body shop reviews can tell you if a shop is or isn’t right for your repairs. Mechanics and body repair shops have taken to advertising a specialty. For example, one shop may specialize in foreign cars another in domestic cars another in Japanese made cars. A shop may specialize in fuel systems or engine rebuilds. If a specialty isn’t clearly stated, call and ask.
You’ve heard stories of recurring car problems. Stories of bags of money flushed down the drain trying to right the same issue time and again. When it comes to your car, lazy thinking comes with a price tag. Only the right shop will solve your problem.
By no means does this mean over-maintenance; that is an absolute waste of money. Rather, take the time to clear your head and vent. Don’t fear second opinions. Don’t fear shopping around. Don’t fear diagnostics. The power to make the right choice is in your hands.
Last, but not least, know your vehicle. Pop your hood and look for cracks in your belts, evidence of leaks, bulges in your hoses. Know the location of the right mechanic and body shop for your vehicle before you need repairs done. This is paramount when buying a used car or any car for that matter. Don’t wait until a problem arises to go to the nearest shop. Be prepared ahead of time.