NerdWallet: 5 ways to offset unexpected car repair costs

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  You went in for an oil change. You left with an itemized bill as long as your arm. Costly services are a reality for many car owners, especially for those who have delayed maintenance. According to insurance marketplace SmartFinancial, the cost of car parts has jumped since early 2021.

Many people don’t trust their mechanics to do only what’s necessary. You shouldn’t arbitrarily agree to every repair — but you shouldn’t reject them out of hand, either. Instead, learn to ask the right questions, and ask yourself about the way you drive and how well you’ve kept up on service.Quality of parts and driving habits influence maintenance timing Some maintenance is recommended at regular intervals, like an oil change every 6,000 miles, while other services occur at irregular intervals. When variable maintenance will be required depends on the wear and tear of your car and how long parts last. Items like batteries “usually have a lifespan, and the more you spend, the longer the lifespan,” says Nicole Miskelley, manager of PMR Auto & Diesel Repair in Marion, Illinois. Driving habits also impact how quickly you’ll need maintenance. Two people driving identical vehicles might need the same type of maintenance at different intervals, says Miskelley. Also on MarketWatch: Christmas trees are about to get a lot more expensive — and it’s tough for families to skip this annual traditionShow me the money — and the maintenance Most car owners can probably spot balding tires, but the trouble comes when mechanics recommend maintenance for issues that drivers can’t see. Miskelley estimates that about 60% of her clients who come in for regular maintenance learn there’s something else that needs to be done to their cars. In some cases, it’s based on a car’s mileage; other times, it’s something a technician noticed while giving the car a quick inspection. But not being able to verify that a recommendation is legitima …

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