Auto repair costs can be very large. Especially if you don't know how much a repair should cost and you get charged for much more than you should be. This happens to many, many people. That is why I made these pages and why I created this website. It is all here to help you and keep you from paying more than you should.
Auto repair costs are going to be different depending on which type of shop you take your car to. There are three main types of repair shops:
There are good and bad about each of the different choices. Click on each one to learn more.
The main thing that you want to do no matter which type you choose is get a detailed written estimate.
If you get a detailed estimate you will be much more prepared for the repair, and especially if there are any problems you can always go back and see what they originally said they were going to do.
If you do not get a good estimate then you have no way of knowing how much you will be charged. If you just go by what the mechanic says verbally then you have no record of it, there is no way to prove what the price was that you were quoted. If you already have a good shop that you trust then this is not a big deal, but if you don't it is essential that you have a good auto repair estimate. Read more about auto repair estimates.
A good auto repair shop will charge anywhere from $60-$125 per hour. So why does it seem like so much money? I think that the reason people wonder why auto repair costs are so high is because they don't know how much it costs to run a good shop.
By the time my shop pays for rent, taxes, payroll, etc. There is very little left over for profit.
Many times people think that they should go to the shop with the lowest rates. I highly discourage this. Generally speaking the shop with the lowest labor rates will also be the shop that does not have the equipment it needs, does not train its employees well, has high employee turnover, etc. Do you really want to take your car to a shop like that?
My advice is to find a shop that does good work and treats you right and then give them your business. Even if their labor rate seems high to you, the most important thing is that they fix your car right and do not rip you off.
A lot of people notice things that are starting to go wrong with their car, but they just keep driving it. Often times these are the same people who neglect to take their car to get the regularly scheduled maintenance on time. Both of these are a bad idea. Auto repair costs grow larger and larger the longer you wait to have car repairs or car maintenance done. Sometimes it seems like you are saving yourself money by waiting to get repairs done, but in the long run you are just costing yourself more money because that small thing that was going wrong gets bigger and bigger and sometimes causes other things to go wrong.
I know I probably sound like an auto parts sales person right now, but I'll say it anyway. It is so important to get your car checked out as soon as possible after you notice any problems. For example. You might be driving down the freeway one day and notice a vibration type noise that happens only during certain speeds and it comes and goes depending on which way you are turning. This is a common symptom of a bad wheel bearing. If you just keep driving it (you can usually drive a vehicle with a bad wheel bearing for a quite a while) you will eventually cause other damage in the drivetrain.
Another part of this example to consider is that in most cases if one wheel bearing has gone out, it is likely that the other one is going to go out soon as well. It is usually a good idea to replace both at the same time. This would save you time and money because the shop would already have your vehicle and have it up on the lift. They can just replace the other side while it is there. It will save you time because instead of just having to take your car back to the auto repair shop in the near future you can just get it done while the car is there.
This is just one of the many ways you can save on auto repair costs.
is to keep your car in tip top shape. In every owners manual you will find a schedule of maintenance. This schedule tells you exactly what needs to be done at pre set mileage intervals. Many people don't know it exists or don't care enough to follow it. This is a mistake. It often leads to the vehicle breaking down due to neglect. If you are serious about your car and keeping car repair costs at a minimum then spend a little money to keep it maintained.
Auto repair costs can make you hate your car or make you love your car. Just like with anything else, you get out what you put in. If you put time and money into your car you will get more years and miles out of it. If you neglect it you will pay more for repairs and it won't last as long.