Monday, November 4, 2013

Cars and Money: Why You Should Never Do Your Own Car Repairs

Oh great! The car is making that sound again. What? The check engine light is blinking yet again? Why does smoke sometimes appear from the engine in the middle of my commute to the office?
These are only some of the matters that motorists report to their auto mechanic. Of course, the costs of vehicle maintenance add up in the end. According to Auto Club, the average owner of a sedan will spend close to $10,000 per year to own and operate their vehicle. This figure includes maintenance, fuel, tires, insurance and depreciation.

That's a lot of money, especially in this economy!

We have heard all of the horror stories about unscrupulous mechanics that do more work than what is necessary and then rip off the customer. This is why some car owners refrain from seeking the assistance of experienced industry professionals and instead perform the job themselves. However, not going to a mechanic shop may prove more harmful in the end.

Let's face it. Due to some of the stories out there - perhaps even personal experiences - some car owners believe they know just as much about their vehicle as the standard car repairman. But do they? Sure, with a little bit of research, a motorist could perform standard car maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, changing a windshield wiper or pumping air into wheels, but for more complex services it needs the work of a repairman because a majority of car owners are not grease or wrench monkeys.

In this difficult economic climate, it's understandable that consumers may want to save a few extra dollars by fixing an issue in their car instead of heading to a repair shop. In the long run, though, it may cost their wallets several additional dollars to remedy a problem that might have been caused by them trying to fix something.

With a little bit of research through websites like Yelp and referrals from friends and family members, automobile owners do not have to concern themselves with worrying about spending an astronomical sum of money just to replace the brakes. There are many good mechanics out there that do the job that is necessary without coming up with ways to scam the customer out of hundreds of extra dollars.
Aside from searching online and asking around, a motorist can complete a first-hand investigation too. Some of the steps that a car owner should take consist of finding out if the mechanic is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified, examining the facilities (is it clean? Are the repairmen doing their jobs?), speaking with the mechanics and comparing prices with other nearby repair shops.

According to studies, people are keeping their cars longer and longer over time because of improved manufacturing capabilities, enhanced car products and better maintenance knowledge by the consumer.

"The length of time people keep cars has been going up for the past several years, since the real estate crash," said Michael Calkins, Triple A's manager of technical services, in an interview with USA Today. "The average age of the vehicle on the road now is 11.1 years. It's not just for financial reasons that people are keeping cars long. The quality of the cars is also improving."

Remember, maintain your vehicle on a regular basis, ask an auto mechanic plenty of questions and when in doubt go to an auto repair shop.

Peterson Auto & Truck is located at 7121 9th Ave N St Petersburg, FL 33710. Call (727) 343-4242 for more information about our auto repair shop today.
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