Do You Really Need an Auto Repair Warranty?

Many consumers are leery when it comes to purchasing a vehicle service agreement, also known as an extended service agreement or auto repair warranty. An auto repair warranty is similar to an insurance policy in that it’s designed to protect vehicle owners from auto repair costs once the initial new-vehicle warranty has expired.

According to a recent study, nearly 77% of vehicles on the road are in need of some form of maintenance or repair. Additionally, research has also indicated that 19% of vehicles have dirty air filters. Though this may seem negligible, a dirty or clogged air filter affects your vehicles performance, and may lead to more serious issues and repairs down the road.

With engine and transmission repair costs being some of the most expensive, it’s easy to see why many vehicle owners are choosing to purchase an auto repair warranty to cover unexpected auto repair costs.

What are the benefits?
Think of an extended warranty as protection against the cost of unexpected, but much needed auto repair services. These warranties offer peace of mind, in that they ensure repair costs are covered without causing financial strain. Also, the majority of extended warranties can be transferred to future owners of the vehicle, which in turn may increase the value of the vehicle. Also, it’s common for extended warranties to offer additional auto-related services such as lost key/lockout services, towing, roadside assistance and care rental discounts.

What don’t they cover?
Extended repair warranties are not nearly as comprehensive as warranties that that come with the purchase of a new vehicle, however, they do cover most major vehicle components. Typically, extended warranties have exclusions for items such as light bulbs, headlights, and windshields. Wear items, or parts that deteriorate over time due to normal use, are nearly always excluded, and may include shocks, brakes, and tires.

So does my vehicle really need an extended warranty?
Auto repair warranties are ideal for someone on a fixed budget, such as a recent graduate or retiree, who may not be able to afford costly repairs. Depending on the nature of the repair, auto repair prices can easily go into the thousands. A warranty may also be beneficial if you intended to keep your vehicle for longer than the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty that came with the purchase of the vehicle. It’s important to research the reliability and repair costs of the vehicle you intend to purchase, as well as shop around for the best warranty for your needs.

While shopping for auto repair warranties, you may find variations in cost and what is covered. It’s best to choose one that is line with your budget, and one that allows it to be transferred to any potential future vehicle owners. Peace of mind is priceless, and there’s always room for priceless in anyone’s budget.

3 Tips for Finding the Right Auto Repair Shop

Car repairs are similar to going to the dentist — everyone knows they need to go at one point, but not everyone is particularly happy about doing it. In fact, the majority of vehicles on the road, or nearly 77%, are in need of some form of repair or maintenance.

Additionally, studies also indicate that 19% of vehicles have dirty air filters. This may seem inconsequential, however, dirty or clogged air filters can become problematic and may lead to more serious issues, such as a decrease in gas mileage, spark plug failure, or even causing your vehicle’s engine to overheat.

Auto repair costs vary greatly, with engine and transmission repairs being the most expensive. Preventative maintenance can greatly reduce repair costs by detecting issues before they become severe and costly. It’s important to work closely with your local auto repair shop to keep your vehicle running safely and at peak performance. Not sure where to start? Follow these three simple tips to find the best auto repair shop and services in your area.

Word of mouth
Dealerships and national chains may be pricier than smaller “Mom and Pop” shops. There are several local, family-owned car repair shops who do not have flashy websites or who are not present on social media, yet offer quality car repairs at reasonable prices. Begin your search by asking family, friends, and co-workers. Chances are, they know of a reputable mechanic who they can personally vouch for.

Get a second opinion
It doesn’t hurt to shop around when it comes to finding the right price for auto repair services. Car repair estimates and prices vary from shop to shop. After narrowing down your choices, get several estimates before deciding on which auto repair shop is best for your needs and budget. Some shops may even offer to match the best price. Also, the cheapest price isn’t necessarily the best. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or have the repair and associated costs explained to you in detail.

Go with your gut
Your intuition is a great tool, and it’s important to listen to it when considering which auto repair shop to give your business to. If something just seems off, such as poor customer service or unanswered questions or concerns, it’s best to move on to a shop that meets or exceeds your expectations. Communication should be open and straightforward, and if you sense anything less than that, politely decline their services.

By practicing preventative maintenance in addition to finding a reputable mechanic, you can save thousands in car repair costs. Follow these simple tips in order to find the best auto mechanic in your area. Your car and wallet will thank you for it!

How Preventative Vehicle Maintenance Can Save You Time, Money, And Trouble

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana recently filed a lawsuit claiming that a national insurance provider is improperly forcing auto repair shops to install unsafe parts on vehicles, endangering consumers.

Caldwell claims this is an extremely unsafe business practice in which consumer auto repairs are performed only with cost savings in mind, rather than safety and reliability.

Using after-market or junkyard parts can potentially be dangerous, as they are often damaged or do not properly fit the vehicle’s existing components. Additionally, the coating on such parts is typically insufficient, causing premature rusting. This can all lead to further repairs and complications or even a collision, sometimes resulting in injury.

Though Louisiana is the first state to file such a lawsuit, Caldwell believes this is a national problem, and hopes other states begin to follow suit.

According to the lawsuit, insurances companies often work with “direct repair program” shops in order to perform car repair services for as cheaply as possible in order to keep costs down, telling customers they will only pay for cheaper parts. If the vehicle owners wants an “OEM” part, or original equipment manufacturer part made by the vehicle’s manufacturer, they must pay the difference.

This story highlights the fact that auto repair costs are a concern for many American consumers. And understandably so, with engine and transmission repairs being some of the most expensive. In fact, most consumers avoid going to their local car repair shop unless absolutely necessary, a recent survey indicates that nearly 77% of vehicles on the road were in need of some form of repair or maintenance. Further, the Louisiana lawsuit demonstrates the importance of choosing a reputable mechanic or auto body shop.

Worthwhile mechanics urge customers to get in the habit of scheduling regular preventative maintenance appointments for their vehicle in order to save time, money, and ensure vehicle safety. Though auto repair costs can be high for certain repairs, preventative maintenance can save thousands.

For example, consumers often assume brake repairs are costly. However, when properly maintained and cared for, the average lifespan of of brake pads is between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. Consumers are encouraged to work with their local, trusted mechanic in order to develop a working relationship with them. Mechanics will be able to address and answer any car repair questions or concerns.

A properly maintained vehicle is safer, and will cost less than one that is not cared for. Though cutting down on costs and saving money is important, it’s best not to cut corners when it comes to vehicle safety and maintenance.

Carolina Auto Service