No car lasts forever. This means you will be destined to take your beloved vehicle to a mechanic at least several times during your period of ownership. For many people, taking a car to the mechanic is a stressful experience. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to be prepared. If you are wondering what they are, check out the items below!
1- Warranty Information
Perhaps the best thing you can do is know all of the warranty information about your vehicle. You should be able to obtain this information from the paperwork given to you when you purchased your vehicle. Remember, if certain parts of your vehicle are covered under your warranty, you may not need to pay anything at all. This can certainly save you a lot of stress and money!
2- Past Experiences
Know the past experience others have had with the mechanic who will work on your vehicle. If you or your friends have had positive interactions there before, you can remind yourself that everything will be fixed efficiently and fairly.
3- Alternate Transportation
Take the time to formulate a plan for alternate transportation before you take your car to the mechanic. For example, you can check to see if your mechanic offers shuttle service to and from the shop. You also can check with friends and family members to see if they can give you rides to the places you need to go for the next few days. Remember, vehicle repairs can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over a week. You will want to know how you will travel during those periods of time.
4- Purchase Planning
Make sure you have a plan to know how you will pay for any unexpected repairs. For example, you might be able to tap into your savings. However, you also might need to utilize a credit card or take advantage of financing options available from your mechanic. Your experience at the shop will be less stressful if you have thought about these options ahead of time.
5- Regular Maintenance
Check to see if there are any regular maintenance items that need to be taken care of on your vehicle. For example, you may be taking your car in to see where a strange sound is coming from. However, after that is resolved, you also might as well see if your oil needs to be changed or your fluids need to be topped. Also, make sure you know if your car is compliant with all of your state’s motor vehicle laws. This means making sure your yearly inspection is completed!
6- Seasonal Items
If you are taking your car to a mechanic, make sure you know if your car is prepared for the next season. This might mean taking off or putting on snow tires. It also might involve changing washer fluid. You don’t want to be stuck doing these things after the season has already changed. It’s always important to know if your car is ready for the weather.
Vehicle repairs can be expensive. However, you should always remember to check for any coupons or goodwill discounts. Many larger shops can often find company coupons to reduce the prices of parts. Smaller shops will often provide goodwill discounts to keep their customers happy and returning. Remember, it never hurts to ask! You just might be able to save a few bucks.
8- New Car Thoughts
Always know in the back of your mind what kind of vehicle you wish to purchase next. This is because you can find yourself needing to purchase a new vehicle at anytime. There is always the possibility your mechanic may be unable to repair your vehicle. Suddenly needing to make such a large purchase can be intimidating. However, if you have always kept a checklist for your next vehicle purchase in your mind, half of your work will already be done for you. In other words, always know what car you want next before taking your old car to a mechanic.
Taking your car to a mechanic almost always involves a degree of uncertainty. However, if you take the time to know the eight items outlined above, you will have eliminated many of the possible scenarios that can cause stress.