ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Save Money On Your Car Repairs

Updated on August 22, 2012


Shelling out hundreds of dollars for auto repairs can really blast holes in anyone's budget.

Finding out that you got ripped off is even worse.

The most important thing you can do to avoid spending needless dollars into the hundreds and thousands is this one thing......properly maintain your cars. It's as simple as that.

It doesn't mean you won't have repair bills sooner or later because let's face it....all cars need repairs.

But you can substantially eliminate many needless and more expensive bills later on if you follow the guidelines in your owner's manual and properly maintenance your cars.

Let's look at some other ways though to save big bucks when the need arises.

public domain photo
public domain photo


  • Make sure you know your car. Read your owner's manual and understand what makes it tick, where things are located. Then go buy yourself a book on your specific car and keep it. refer to it when you need to learn something or troubleshoot.

    Haynes Guides or Chilton's Manuals are wonderful places to learn about your car and also can teach you how to maintenance them yourself in some tasks.

    Yes, you heard that right....even in today's cars with everything hidden far, far away, there are still some things you can do yourself and save money.
  • Do it yourself. You can do simple repairs like replacing bulbs or even changing your air filter. Who can't refill their window wiper fluid?

    You can also do your own oil changes if you really want to save money, replace plugs, or even pull parts like alternators and radiators and switch them out.
  • Be realistic. For the things that you can't do and that our outside your skill set, you'll need a mechanic and this can be the single most frustrating experience known to man or woman....trying to find an honest mechanic and one that isn't going to charge you enough to make you want to scream.

    Check around and verify any mechanic's credentials.

    If they are backed by AAA or are certified by an agency like the Automotive Service Councils (ASC), you probably can breathe a sigh of relief.

    Taking your car to the dealer is usually okay....but be prepared to spend about twice what another mechanic might charge you.

    Now that you've decided you need an honest to goodness mechanic though, there are still more things to know!

public domain photo
public domain photo


Once you go to a mechanic, interview him like you're hiring him.....because you are!  Ask what the problem is, add what you think it could be (by researching it first on line or reading your manual), and then get an estimate. estimate does not mean 'fix it'.  It means tell me how much you're going to charge me (gouge me) to fix it.  

Ask for parts quotes on everything as well. 

Some mechanics will mark up parts by as much as 100%  That's insane!  More on that in a minute. 

If you have a little bit of time, take that estimate and shop around to at least another mechanic and see if things are shaking out the same.

Now you've gotten your estimate, if you have time, take a pop back to your computer and go to  This is a website that will generate a free/independent estimate of what a particular kind of repair should cost and it's listed by zip code. 

You can get the sense if you're getting reamed or if it's a legitimate repair bill. 

So now you're set to have an alternator change let's say and you've decided that Joe Smith is going to charge you less than Bill Blue.  But you've heard that mechanics jack up the prices of their parts (as above) by as much as 100%. 

So you ring Joe back up and say 'hey, Joe, the price you quoted me is just keen but I've decided I want to get my own alternator and bring it in.  Do you have a problem with that?' 

If Joe's a smart mechanic and I think he will be, he'll say sure....bring it in. 

If he's not very bright or he just likes jacking up prices and passing it on to his customers, he'll say 'no way' and then you repeat this exercise with Bill Blue and Bill gets the business instead of Joe. 

You can save a TON of money by getting your own parts. 

For even more savings, check online for parts wholesalers. 

Check junkyards, check auto parts stores, and After WILL save money hands down.

public domain photo
public domain photo


Another great way to make sure you're getting your money's worth? Watch the repairs. This is the surest way to know that someone is actually working on the problem and replacing what they SAY they're replacing.

Always ask for the broken parts so that you'll be able to verify if there was truly a broken part.

You can also save money by using a mobile mechanic. These are fellows who work at dealer service departments or independent mechanic shops and they do work on the side.

You can save 20% to 50% on shop rates by using these guys and they'll work on your car in your garage! Even better!!

Summing it up then, you can see where a little research pays off in the hundreds of dollars category so take the time to do it if you possibly can.

public domain photo
public domain photo


Remember to:

  • Know your car inside and out
  • Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance it properly
  • Do it yourself if you can
  • Research like the devil is chasing you if a problem crops up
  • Find a good mechanic and stick with him
  • Take your parts with you

Save money!!!

And if you find a great mechanic, make sure you spread his name around.....even go on and leave a good review!


  • Blue - wiper fluid
  • Brown - oil
  • Red/oily - transmission fluid
  • Dark brown/slightly green and oily - gear oil
  • Bright green/orange and watery - antifreeze/coolant
  • Clear/slightly brown - brake fluid or clutch


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)