When Is It Cheaper to Repair or to Replace in Car Maintenance

When Is It Cheaper to Repair or to Replace in Car Maintenance
  • Opening Intro -

    Cars tend to get more expensive to maintain as they get older.

    Keep an ear out for common breakdown symptoms.

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They could be easily fixed on your own, or with a quick trip to the mechanic. More serious concerns such as transmission issues might require a full-on replacement.

Dents and Dings

This happens to even the sturdiest of cars. A stray shopping cart might have rolled away and right into your fender. Someone might have parked too close to you and then opened their door with too much force.

Whatever the reason you are now left with dents, scratches, or other bumps and marks. These are actually quite easy to fix on your own. You can do this using a plunger to simply suck out the dent. A hair dryer and compressed air work equally well.

Windshield Woes

Don’t ignore a simple scratch in your windshield. It could literally "chip away" at the windshield’s foundation. Windshield replacement needn’t be expensive. While special resin can be applied to fix smaller cracks, faults in the glass can grow over time.

If you have a crack larger than a quarter, then full replacement is often necessary. This is, at least, a good time to invest in a shatter-resistant coating to prevent future damage.

Transmission Trouble

Issues with your car’s transmission are a much more serious concern. The transmission works in one of two ways: automatic and manual. A manual transmission is where a stick shift comes in. That’s how you change gears. Transmission fluid keeps either method running smoothly.

The common recommendation is to change the fluid every 100,000 miles. Are you needing to change it more often than that? If so, talk to your mechanic about what it might cost to replace the transmission. Replacing the transmission may be expensive but it’s worth it for your safety.

other valuable tips:

Locked and Loaded

A broken car lock can be fixed in three different ways. You can try doing it yourself, take it to a mechanic, or go back to the car dealership and let them take care of it. DIY is the cheapest option. At the very least it will cost around $15 and at most around $350. The dealership will inevitably be the most expensive choice. You can expect a cost as high as around $600 if you go that route.

You want your car to be reliable. Taking care of its problems yourself can bring a sense of satisfaction. Tread carefully. You don’t want to cause more issues and end up with larger and more expensive repairs. Examine the scale of what you’re dealing with. Cosmetic concerns are generally cheaper to fix whereas internal, mechanical problems often run a larger bill.

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Consumer Tips reference:

GUIDE: turn your home into a bank

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