How to cope with the rising costs of auto repairs

Auto repairs are getting more expensive every year, and many car owners are feeling the pinch. According to the latest federal consumer price data, the cost of car repairs was up by 19.7% on an annual basis. What are the reasons behind this trend, and what can you do to save money on your car maintenance?

The impact of the pandemic on the auto industry

One of the main factors that contributed to the rising costs of auto repairs is the pandemic, which disrupted the supply chain and the labor market for the auto industry. Many car manufacturers had to stop or slow down production due to COVID-19 restrictions or worker shortages. This created a scarcity of new cars and car parts, which drove up the prices for both dealers and consumers.

The pandemic also affected the demand for cars, as people avoided public transportation and opted for personal vehicles instead. This increased the wear and tear on cars, as well as the need for repairs and maintenance. However, finding a qualified technician or a reliable repair shop became more difficult, as many of them closed down or reduced their staff due to the pandemic. As a result, car owners had to pay more for labor and wait longer for service.

The rise of high-tech cars and complex repairs

Another factor that influenced the rising costs of auto repairs is the technological advancement of cars, which made them more sophisticated and complex. Modern cars are equipped with features such as rearview cameras, traffic sensors, turbochargers, all-wheel drive systems, and computerized networks. These features improve the performance, safety, and efficiency of cars, but they also add to the cost and difficulty of repairs.

 the rising costs of auto repairs

For example, replacing a bumper on a car with a rearview camera may require not only a new bumper, but also a new camera, wiring, and calibration. Similarly, repairing a turbocharged engine may involve replacing the entire turbo unit, which can be very expensive. Moreover, fixing a computerized system may require specialized tools and software, which are not available to every repair shop or technician.

How to save money on your car repairs

Despite the rising costs of auto repairs, there are some ways that car owners can reduce their expenses and avoid unnecessary repairs. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep up with regular maintenance: One of the best ways to prevent costly repairs is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your car. This includes changing the oil, filters, fluids, tires, brakes, and belts regularly, as well as checking the battery, lights, and wipers. Regular maintenance can help you detect and fix minor problems before they become major ones, and extend the lifespan of your car.
  • Shop around for the best deal: Another way to save money on your car repairs is to compare prices and reviews of different repair shops and technicians. You can use online tools such as RepairPal or CarMD to get estimates and ratings for various services and parts. You can also ask for referrals from friends, family, or coworkers who have had similar repairs done. However, don’t just go for the cheapest option, as quality and warranty may vary. Look for a reputable and certified repair shop that offers a fair price and a guarantee for their work.
  • Learn some DIY skills: A third way to save money on your car repairs is to learn some basic DIY skills that can help you perform simple tasks such as changing a tire, replacing a headlight, or jump-starting a battery. You can find online tutorials and videos that can guide you through these processes, or you can take a car maintenance course at a local community college or auto club. However, be careful not to attempt any repairs that are beyond your skill level or that may void your warranty. Leave the complex and risky repairs to the professionals.

The rising costs of auto repairs are a reality that many car owners have to face, especially in the wake of the pandemic and the advancement of technology. However, by following some tips and strategies, you can minimize your expenses and keep your car in good shape.

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