It is essential to keep your car in top working condition, whether it is new or old or second hand. Every vehicle is likely to wear out with time and usage; after all, it is machinery. Many people tend to get confused between car maintenance and car repair. However, these two are entirely different and have different functions and role.
As a car owner, you must understand the basic difference between car maintenance and repair.
Maintenance vs. Car Repairs
While car maintenance and car repair are essential for the proper working condition of the car; they have different functions and purposes. Maintenance is a regular service required for your car while car repairs are carried out when something goes wrong with the vehicle. Regular car maintenance is essential and keeps you away from any expansive car repairs. Common regular maintenance includes oil changes, inspection of battery, brakes, tires, engine belts, coolant, spark plugs, etc.
Despite regular maintenance, sometimes the car refuses to start, or something goes wrong with it. It is essential to identify common car problems and choose a good mechanic for car repairs. It would be helpful if you know what the most common car repairs are and how much do they cost.
Common Car Repairs and costs
There is a general price range that various car repair activities fall into. You can understand those repairs and costs as a reference for your car repairs.
- Under $500 – Car repairs under $500 can cover Cabin air filter replacement, air filter replacement, Transmission fluid flush, Engine coolant sensor replacement, Spark plug replacement and windshield replacement.
- Under $1,000 – Car repairs that range from $500 – $1,000 include Radiator replacement, Water pump replacement, installing new all-season tires and serpentine belt replacement. The serpentine belt replacement is recommended every 60,000-105,000 miles.
- Over $1,000 – When you have to shell out more than a thousand bucks, you probably have Suspension system replacement, Head gasket replacement, Transmission replacement, and Airbag replacement. Suspension system replacement includes struts, springs, control arms, shocks and tie rods.
Choosing the right technician for Car Repair
No two car technicians are same and thus, one should make efforts to pick the right one for the car repair. Look for various certifications and get referrals. Certification like an Automotive Service Excellence seal reflects that the car mechanic carries the basic standards of knowledge and competence to perform the repairs.
Some car repair shops charge a flat rate and the published rate is just an estimate of the repairs. Do not be afraid to ask questions in case of any doubts and always consider getting a second opinion. Enquire if they charge for diagnostics as most of them charge. Get a written estimate and do not rely on verbal quotes. You should know exactly that is getting done for your car and what are the exact costs. Your hard earned money is very precious and utilizing them in the right place will make you feel contented.
Safeguarding your investment in Car Repairs
Protecting your money and investments made on those repairs is essential. While there is no standard warranty on repairs, one should always know what is covered under the warranty as it may be subjected to mileage, deductibles and special procedures to get reimbursement.
Check about your warranty rights in your state. Ask for service contracts from your automobile dealers or by vehicle manufacturers. These contracts are negotiable and often cover the car repairs costs. Make sure the purpose of the customer is being fulfilled.