Maintenance checks and repairs are an inevitable part of car ownership. To make sure your vehicle lasts long, you need to meet these basic requirements at any given moment. If you’re like many other car owners, you might be asking yourself: How much does it cost to fix a car?
While reading through CarShield reviews to find out if your extended warranty covers the repairs you need, it’s also wise to learn about the different factors that could affect car maintenance and repair costs.
Factors influencing car repair costs
The price for auto repairs varies widely and can range from $50 to a few thousand dollars—depending on several factors. Below is a list of things affecting car repair costs:
Costs for car parts
Replacing a new engine will cost significantly more than replacing a worn-out brake pad. A brake pad could cost you a little over $20, while a new engine could cost you anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000.
Car parts prices may also vary between providers—so it’s almost impossible to get an accurate estimate before getting repairs. The changing prices can impact your overall bill after repairs are conducted.
Repair jobs vary in terms of complexity, which ultimately influences the prices for services. For example, getting a new paint job is much less stressful than repairing the car transmission or spark plugs. More complex issues will require the mechanic to work longer and harder to fix the problem. Thus, you might end up paying more for them.
If you own a run-of-the-mill American car, you can probably go to any mechanic to get your vehicle fixed. But if you own a vehicle that needs very specific maintenance and repair services, finding a high-quality mechanic could be a lot more challenging—and expensive.
Mechanics who specialise in certain car types charge more than those who haven’t specialised in any car design. Car parts might also be more expensive for certain luxury or exotic brands.
Car repair and maintenance costs vary between regions, cities, and countries. The cost of living in certain areas is simply more affordable than in others. It’s the same reason you can buy a gallon of milk cheaper in Wisconsin than in California.
If you’re getting car repairs in a city with a particularly high cost-of-living index, you’re sure to get a high repair bill after the job is done.
You shouldn’t limit your options to the closest mechanics you find in your area. Much like any other purchase, finding cheaper but more reliable alternatives can save you more money down the road.
Instead of settling on the first mechanic you find, try to ask for quotes on at least three mechanics. Cross-reference your findings and see which provider offers the best deal.
How much will it cost to fix my car?
Regardless of how good a researcher you are, it’s almost impossible to accurately guess how much you’ll spend on car repairs or maintenance. There are just too many factors involved, and most people don’t have the time or energy to do that much digging.
To help you get an idea of how much services might cost, here’s a list of a few common repairs and how much mechanics typically charge for them:
Car bumper repair/replacement
Bumpers are typically the first thing that gets damaged in an accident. Depending on how severe the damages are, drivers can expect to spend anywhere between $300 to $2,000. If your car needs a replacement bumper, the costs can range from $1,000 to a little over $3,000—depending on the brand and model you own.
Car door repair/replacement
It’s normal for car doors to develop small dents and scratches over time. This type of damage is normally cheap and quite easy to fix. It can cost drivers anywhere between $50 to $100. But if the damages are more severe than a few small dents and scratches, the charges could be significantly higher.
Car doors contain complex wiring and gadgets, e.g., power locks and windows. Fixing these components can take some time, meaning more work for your mechanic and his employees.
If you need to replace your car door, expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500.
Car windshield repair/replacement
Small cracks and chips on your windshield can be repaired for as little as $60 or less. But if you’re dealing with larger, more evident cracks, you may need a complete replacement.
Replacing your car’s windshield can cost anywhere between $300 to $1,000 or more. Prices will vary with the size and type of glass that your car needs. Some technologies that extend to the windshield can also bring up the price of repairs or replacements, e.g., collision sensors, rain and condensation sensors, and others.
Car paint repair/replacement
Repainting your car can cover up unappealing scratches and chips that develop on its surface over time. Depending on which auto body shop you go to, you can get your entire car repainted for as little as $500.
But if you want a complete makeover, a new paint job might cost you anywhere between $1,000 to $2,500 or more. The type of paint you choose, as well as the style that you want, will influence your final bill.
How to find a mechanic you trust
Finding a reliable and effective mechanic can be tricky, especially if this is your first time needing mechanic services. If possible, contact your car dealer and ask them if they have partner body shops in the area. Additionally, get in touch with your extended car warranty provider (if any) and ask them for a list of recommended mechanics.
Once you have a shortlist of providers, ask for quotes from each one. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the repairs you need. This will help you properly gauge the mechanic’s skill and knowledge.
Getting car repairs can be expensive, especially if you live in an area with a high cost-of-living index. To save yourself from substantial financial losses, knowing what factors can affect your overall repair bills is important. It can help you plan your repairs better so you don’t end up exhausting your budget.
Featured image: Kate Ibragimova/Unsplash