How important is your car? It may not be brand new, it may have several thousand miles on it, but when it is not running properly, it is incredibly inconvenient. You need your car every day. To take you to work, or the store, run to the doctor or take the kids to baseball and when it is out of commission, you need to find alternate means of transportation, and that is just a pain.
That being said, for most people, it is also an expense that is not thought about frequently. You think about your monthly insurance, car payment and maybe even fuel, but when a repair comes up you are typically unprepared and so many people start shopping around for the lowest price possible to repair the issue. Why?
Let’s think about it in a different scenario. If you were boarding an airplane would you want the pilot with one day of flight training or would you want the pilot that had 25 years flying planes? Would you want the repairs on the plane to be done with the cheapest parts or would you want the highest quality parts put onto the plane? Why? Because you are taking you life in your hands when you fly. Why does your car, which you use every day, carrying yourself and your precision family, deserve any less?
Now let us compare it back to cars. Here are some things you should keep in mind when evaluating the cost of repairs.
Are the technicians qualified? How many years of experience do they have? Do they continue learning new technologies and keep up with the trade by earning certifications? Do they understand your vehicle?
Are the parts made of quality materials? The repair shop doesn’t necessarily have to use the highest premium parts, but do they look for reasonably priced parts that they are willing to stand behind with a warranty. Would the owner or technician use these parts on their own vehicle? What kind of warranty do they offer? By offering an extended warranty on parts and labor, you know they are willing to stand behind the parts they selected if they fail and cover the labor costs associated with replacing the part again.
Also, remember, that they are providing a service for you. Doing the repairs yourself will always be the least expensive, however, you may not be qualified to perform the repairs needed, or if you are, how much is your time really worth? Could your time be better spent at work, doing repairs or yard work to your home, or spending time with your family, while letting the professional do the work for you, clean up after and dispose of all the materials.
Sometimes, it is all about the bottom line. Do you really have the money to make the needed repairs, how much can you truly spend. Keep in mind though, that sometimes by saving money now, you could be causing more or a larger issue down the road. A good repair center will work with you to prioritize repairs needed to help fit your budget and the greatest safety needs while helping you save and prepare for future repairs.