Saving Money on Car Repairs

By Carlos Portocarrero

This site has been retired :(
For fresh, practical career advice, please visit

Beat up car

A couple weeks ago we noticed our brakes were making a weird sound, so we took it to two different shops. And we got two quotes, which is the responsible thing to do.

But what do you do when one comes back at $420 and the other at $3,500?

You take it to a third shop, which charged us $240 for the job.

I learned a lot about the right things to do (get as many estimates as you can) and what not to do (never take it to the dealership). On my way, I found 6 Sites Every Car Owner Needs to Bookmark Now.

The Problem With Car Repairs

Ignorance. Most of us don’t know a damn thing about cars, so we need to find someone we can trust. Otherwise we’ll feel like we’re getting ripped off, which we very well might be.

While we were debating all these different quotes and estimates, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to educate myself so I didn’t have to rely so much on someone else telling me what was wrong with my car. I decided that I’m going to learn the basics of how cars work, their parts, and so on.

But who has time for that? Now that the car is fixed, guess what happened? I don’t feel the urge to pick up Car Repairs for Dummies anymore. The car works and that’s all I need to know.

My tips to you?

  • Get as many estimates as you can.
  • Visit and get an estimate there.
  • Check out Yelp and ask your friends on Facebook if they have a shop they trust.
  • Go with the place you trust the most, it will make all the difference.
  • Stay on top of your maintenance!

And if you don’t have a car, stay tuned for a piece that should be up soon on the different car-sharing services out there.

Image by Dr. Keats

Leave a Reply