When your car breaks down, it can be a frustrating experience. You may be tempted to fix the problem yourself, but unless you have a fully-equipped garage at hand and a reliable source of replacement parts, you’ll probably have to take your car to a professional mechanic. And that’s where the trouble starts because car repairs can be expensive due to the cost of labor and replacement parts.
If you are short on cash and don’t have enough money to cover the cost of repairs, you have a few options. One is to look into car loans to cover the cost of repairs, which you can then pay back over time. However, if you’re drowning in debt, that may not be the best idea. You can also try to look for aftermarket parts, refurbish the broken parts, or even consider selling your car for scrap.
Whatever option you choose, make sure that you carefully consider all your options before making a final decision. As you’re on a tight budget, you should look for reliable but affordable solutions. If you want to know what they are, read on for some tips on how to get your car repaired without breaking the bank.
Check Whether You Can Fix It Yourself
Before you decide to take your car to the nearest repair shop, it’s worth checking whether you can fix the problem yourself. After all, it’s always cheaper to do things on your own, and there are quite a few repairs you can make without professional help, no matter whether you live in New York, California, or Arizona. All you need is time, patience, and a few basic tools.
Start with general troubleshooting and see if you can identify the source of the issue. Once you know what needs to be fixed, go online and search for repair manuals or videos that can show you how to do it. For example, replacing an air filter or a headlight bulb is something even a novice can do, even though it may seem intimidating in some models.
Look For Aftermarket Parts
Original parts tend to be quite expensive, especially if you’re driving an older model. Thankfully, there are plenty of aftermarket parts available on the market that you can use to replace the broken ones. Just make sure that you choose a reputable supplier. Although aftermarket parts are not related to either performance-oriented custom cars or cheaply fixed beaters, you still may stumble upon parts that do more harm than good.
To check whether the quality is good enough, read online reviews and see what other customers say about a particular supplier. Some parts may be interchangeable between different makes and models, so it’s also worth checking whether there aren’t any cheaper alternatives. The caveat here is that those parts may differ from the OEM set in terms of performance or longevity, but it’s still a budget way of6 getting your car back on the road.
Refurbish The Broken Parts
Another way to save money on car repairs is by refurbishing the broken parts instead of buying new ones. Sometimes there may be a way to salvage the part and make it work as good as new. Turbochargers are an excellent example of this — they can often be repaired by cleaning or replacing the damaged turbine blades or bearings. Doing so is much cheaper than buying a replacement turbocharger, but its main body must be in good condition.
Alternatively, you can look for used parts and combine working elements from a few different ones to create one optimally-working piece. This solution works best for complex components such as a transmission. Repairing such elements will take a lot of time and effort, but it can be done if you aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty and are patient enough.
Consider Selling Your Car
Sometimes, it is not worth keeping your old car if it constantly breaks down. Sure, you may have some sentimental value attached to it, but in the end, it may be a better idea just to sell it and put the money towards buying a new model. Of course, you won’t get as much money for your car as if it was in good working order, but at least you’ll have the cash to buy a new one.
Think about what you need the car for and whether you can find an alternative that will serve you better; ultimately, a small econobox can be just enough to get you from point A to point B if you can’t afford anything else. Even if your car is damaged beyond repair, you can still sell it for scrap. This way, you’ll earn some money for a budget car.
Get Car Insurance With Affordable Coverage
Finally, one of the best ways to save money on car repairs is getting comprehensive car insurance. Getting one after your car broke down probably won’t help much, but your insurance company will most likely cover at least a part of the repair costs if you have it beforehand. Of course, this depends on your policy and what it covers, but it’s still a good idea to have comprehensive insurance just in case.
Remember that those policies often have strict rules regarding what is covered and what isn’t. For example, most policies won’t cover repairs due to irresponsible driving or damage caused by poor maintenance. So, even if you have comprehensive insurance, there’s still a chance that you’ll end up footing part of the bill. Still, if you get rear-ended, you can expect the other driver’s insurance to cover all the costs.
To Sum Up
Car repairs can be expensive, but with a bit of creativity, you can find a way to fix your car without breaking the bank. There are quite a few ways to save money on repairs — from fixing it yourself and using aftermarket parts to looking for used ones or selling your car for scrap.
Of course, that all depends on what’s wrong with your car and how much money you’re willing and able to spend. It may be better just to sell your old car and buy a new one in some cases. But, no matter what you choose to do, make sure that you carefully consider all your options before making a final decision.