If you own an older vehicle that has started to have a lot of minor mechanical problems and the repair bills are killing your monthly budget, then you will be pleased to learn that there are many ways that you can fix your car and save yourself some cash. To this end, here are some tips to help you save money on automotive repairs and bring your budget back into line:
Tip: Buy a Repair Manual for Your Vehicle and Learn to Make Basic Repairs Yourself
One of the best ways to save money on minor car repairs is to purchase a repair manual written for your specific make and model of car. The manual will describe in detail how to make many common repairs and will tell you about the tools necessary to complete the repairs. Since most non-engine parts on a vehicle can be replaced using very basic tools and by simply following the instructions in the manual, you can save yourself a ton of cash by learning to make minor repairs yourself at home.
Tip: Consider Using Non-OEM Parts when Possible
When you go to the auto parts store to get parts to make a repair, consider opting for non-OEM parts. The acronym OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer" and designates parts that were made by the manufacturer of your vehicle. However, those same parts are also made for the secondary car market by other manufacturers and are sold as non-OEM parts. Typically OEM parts are more expensive than those that are non-OEM, but the function of both parts is typically identical. You can save a lot of money by buying non-OEM parts.
Tip: Purchase Parts from a Local Salvage Yard
If you have access to a local automobile salvage yard for used auto parts sales, then this is also an excellent place to obtain your parts for repairs. Salvage yards store vehicles that were involved in accidents or that have reached the end of their useful life. However, just because a car was in an accident or is otherwise worn out, this does not mean that it doesn't still have many parts that can be harvested to fix other cars. If you can find the part that your car needs at a salvage yard, you can save about half of the price over buying a new part at an auto parts store. The one caveat to buying salvaged parts is that you should avoid buying electric parts because they are the most likely to be damaged in an accident or by age. Otherwise, all other car parts from salvaged cars can save you a lot when making a basic repair such as replacing a side mirror or water pump.