How to Deal with an Unreliable Car

By CarsFellow 7 Min Read

It’s happened to all of us. That car that we thought would be reliable ends up being a headache. You never know when it’s going to break down or how much it’s going to cost you when it does. But don’t worry, there are ways to deal with an unreliable car.

Below are some steps you can take to make your life easier when your car is giving you trouble.

1. Obtain Extended Car Warranty Coverage

An unreliable car will hit you where it hurts the most—your wallet. To help soften the blow, you can look for the best extended car warranty for your needs. These plans usually last anywhere from 30 additional days to an entire year following your manufacturer’s warranty, and they’ll often cover repairs for any number of parts and components.

Even if you don’t plan on using it, having this type of coverage can provide some security knowing that you have options if your car breaks down unexpectedly. An online search for the extended car warranty companies should bring up several results with detailed information about each company.

2. Use a Car Repair Reminder App

In many cases, car owners will purchase an extended warranty only to lose the paperwork before they ever have to use it. That’s why you should also download a car repair reminder app for your smartphone. These super-handy apps usually send alerts about upcoming service milestones and maintenance notifications. Most of them can even show you what kind of individual service your car is due for based on its make, model, and mileage.

3. Bring Your Car in for Maintenance More Often

It might not be the most exciting thing you’ll do all year, but bringing your car in for regular maintenance will keep it running smoothly. Many people take their vehicles to the shop when something is wrong, which usually means spending more money on repairs that could have been prevented in the first place. But if you make a habit of bringing your car in for routine service, you won’t have to worry about breakdowns or expensive repairs.

4. Clean Your Car Thoroughly

Cleaning may not seem like something that would help you deal with an unreliable vehicle, but it can help. The more often you wipe down the dashboard and interior, the less likely it is to accumulate dust, dirt, and grime. And if you prevent your car from getting grimy and dingy, you’ll be less likely to wind up with a ratty interior that can make your vehicle seem older than it is.

5. Get a Repair Quote

If you’re not certain whether your car needs a repair, getting a quote for potential work can help you make the decision. You can call local mechanics or bring your vehicle to a nearby service center to get an estimate on future repairs or replacements. After getting repair estimates from several repair shops, you can compare them to see the best deals.

6. Review Your Auto Insurance Coverage

When you purchase an extended car warranty, it’s often packaged with your car insurance. Make sure that the coverage is enough to get your car back on the road. If you’re paying too much for insurance, shop around to find a better rate. It only takes a few minutes to compare rates online or over the phone, and you could save a lot of money per year by switching to an alternative provider.

7. Talk to Your Vehicle’s Manufacturer

You might feel like your car isn’t reliable if it breaks down all the time, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take to keep it in good shape. If you experience chronic problems with your car, you can contact its manufacturer for advice or warranty information. The representatives at the company may be able to provide you with helpful tips that could prevent future breakdowns.

8. Ask Your Mechanic About Parts Replacements

Even if your car isn’t experiencing any trouble right now, it’s a good idea to ask your mechanic about any parts that are due to be repaired or replaced. For instance, if your car has more than 100,000 miles on it, you should probably get the timing belt replaced immediately.

You can also check your car’s brake pad thickness to see whether the brake pads are starting to wear down. It’s prudent to replace these parts before you experience any issues so you can save money in the long run.

9. Swap Your Old Car For a New One

If your car is prone to repairs and mechanical issues, it might be time to make the switch to a more reliable car. If you don’t have the cash to purchase a brand-new vehicle like the Honda CR-V 2020, consider getting approved for an auto loan so that you can finance one with monthly payments. And if you don’t want to pay interest on your vehicle loan, get an auto refinancing quote instead.

Making this decision will entail you asking tough questions, like how will you get around if you get rid of your unreliable car? If you decide to fix your car, are you sure it won’t break down yet again? Is the vehicle worth keeping and fixing over and over again? These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself. Your answers to these will significantly influence whether you’ll keep your car or buy a new one.

The Bottom Line: You Have Options

So, what’s the ideal way to deal with an unreliable car? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but hopefully, the tips we’ve shared will help you make a decision that’s right for you. If your car is causing you problems, don’t be afraid to take it to a mechanic and ask for their opinion.

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