How I Saved $800 on a Car Repair
Here's how I saved money on a recent car repair.
A few years ago, I got a new car. It was pre-owned but it was new to me. Unfortunately, one thing that the dealership did not disclose to me was that the A/C didn't work in my newly purchased 2010 Toyota Corolla. Since I bought the car in October, it wasn't high on my list of things to check before purchasing. Imagine my surprise when the Indiana heat took me by surprise and I was told during an oil change (and hopeful A/C recharge) that my entire compressor was bad.
I'm sorry but nothing could be done to save your compressor...
I wasn't thrilled by that and started going around to get quotes. Sidenote: The process of getting this issue fixed took a while (years) because I can often be described as "super poor." Anyway, the first quote I got from a mechanic was around $700ish. Which wasn't terrible, but not something that I could spend at that time. Instead of getting it fixed, I endured the blistering heat of summer 2015.
A year later, I was in a bit more of a financially stable place and decided to get another quote, this time at a larger automotive repair shop. The size of the shop wasn't the only thing that was high, as this retailer quoted me $1400! The part alone was $800+. This didn't set particularly well with me because I assumed the markup was pretty outrageous. With nothing to be done, I once again endured another horrible heat wave in Evansville.
It's fine, I'll just melt
This year, I decided I was gonna deal with it again. I started doing research online and discovered the part that I needed on Amazon. And the part was about $500 cheaper than the part cost in that enormous $1400 quote. Amazon was super easy to use and made sure that the part I was ordering was what I needed. I'm not particularly car-savvy so this was a nice feature. Ordered the part, got it delivered, and then began my quest to find a mechanic to put it in.
Based on the recommendation of a friend, I went with Jeff Decker's Quality Automotive in Evansville. They were super cool, gave me a quote, and then, get this, actually only charged me that quote! What an amazing concept! They didn't discover my blinker fluid was empty or that I needed high-end windshield wiper blades, engraved by Zeus himself. No, they were super nice and, most of all, honest.
"Wait, you mean the price you said is the price I pay?"
The grand total for this adventure was a tad over $600, which is $800 less than the big retailer. My advice for anyone doing automotive stuff is this: if you can't do it yourself (the best way to save money), then do some research online and find an honest mechanic to do some work. If you follow these steps, you can save a ton of money. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people are still afraid of attempting anything on their own and just pay any huge amount of money just so they don't have to worry. The internet makes so many things easier, car repair is one of them. Do some research and save money and I guarantee you'll be smiling like me!