How to save on car repairs: in the USA there are self-service workshops where you can repair your car yourself - ForumDaily
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How to save on car repairs: in the USA there are self-service workshops where you can repair your car yourself

If you are knowledgeable about car repairs, you can do it yourself without having to buy a ton of tools. How to do this, says Lifehacker.

Professional mechanic working on the engine of the car in the garage

Photo: iStock.com/Kunakorn Rassadornyindee

Repairing a car is an expensive proposition. The average car repair rate hovers around $60 per hour and can rise into the triple digits, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Read about the eight best inexpensive cars in our article.

According to experts, people try to drive their cars as long as possible. The average car on the road today is 12,5 years old. But older cars mean more repair bills.

On the subject: 2,3 million cars are being recalled in the US due to dangerous problems

If the engine of your iron horse requires work, but you cannot afford a service station, there is another option. It will help you save a lot of money.

All you need is some mechanic skills (or a friend who has them) and a self-service workshop near you.

What is a DIY workshop?

The Self-Service Shop is a full-service auto repair shop. There you can rent a seat, a lift, diagnostic equipment (including computers) and tools. All this for an hourly or daily fee. Some also provide recommendations from certified mechanics.

Many people rely on YouTube, tutorials and free advice from fellow DIY mechanics. But you are the one who does all the actual work on your car, saving you a huge amount of money.

It's a pretty simple process:

  • determine your needs. Depending on the renovation you will be doing, you should make a list of all the equipment you might need. People use self-service shops for more than just mechanical repairs: some repaint their cars, repair rusty roofs, or perform other body work;
  • Find a self-service workshop near you. There is no nationwide list of such garages. You will have to rely on Google search. Here There is a preset search window. It allows you to enter your postcode and see a list of workshops near you;
  • reserve time and tools. Now you just book what you need and come. Local owners of such workshops will provide everything you need, including tools.

Cost of using a self-service workshop

Just because self-service workshops will save you a lot of resources doesn't mean they'll be cheap. Here, for example, is the approximate cost of repairs in one of the places:

  • base cost. If you just need a place to work, most workshops charge between $20 and $50 per hour. For example, My Mechanics Place in Michigan will charge you $20 per hour for a basic bay, U Wrench It in New Jersey will charge you $24,99, and Your Dream Garage in Los Angeles will charge you $50 per hour. A lift will cost you $30-$35 per hour, and a paint booth typically costs around $100 per hour. These prices sometimes include access to the tools, but sometimes there is an additional fee of $10 to $25. Most DIY shops have daily or even monthly rates, which can be more economical.
  • expert help. Many self-service workshops offer the services of a professional mechanic. He will advise you on repairs for an additional fee. For example, U Wrench It will provide you with professional assistance for $55 per hour on top of the bay rental. This could be a great middle ground option if you've never done any major car repairs before and are afraid to rely on videos and friendly advice.

Considering the cost of labor, a DIY repair done in one of these garages can save you a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars depending on how long it takes.

Things to consider before using a self-service workshop

Of course, a self-service workshop is not for everyone. Some nuances need to be taken into account:

  • insurance. Your insurance company may not approve DIY repairs and may require the work to be done at an approved workshop. On the other hand, you may be able to save some of your insurance money if they simply write you a check for the repairs.
  • duty. Most self-service repair shops will require you to sign an agreement releasing them from liability if you are injured. State laws vary, but such a repair shop will likely hold the consumer responsible. Make sure you know what will happen if you get injured or somehow damage your car while trying to fix it.
  • costs. If you hire a professional to help you with the repair, your hourly costs may be more than what you would pay at a service station. If the average hourly cost of a mechanic's job is $60, and you spend $75 on repairs and professional help at a DIY shop, then there's really no savings at all.
  • quality. Saving money is great, but if your DIY car repair doesn't hold up because you don't know what you're doing, you'll find yourself in an even worse situation.

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  • education. A self-service workshop can be a great way to learn how to maintain and repair machines. If you have a second car that you can tinker with, spending some time in a self-service workshop is a good hands-on way to learn.

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