How To Prioritize Automotive Repairs
Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law? If you haven’t, now’s a good time to become very familiar with it, especially since you’re learning all you can about automobiles.
When people talk about Murphy’s Law, what they’re referring to is the adage that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”. Personally, I feel that it is especially true when it comes to anything related to automobiles of any kind, be it motorcycles, trucks, cars, or even airplanes, because of just how interdependent all of its mechanical parts are. One problem, if unresolved, could cause other problems that spread until the entire vehicle becomes completely useless.
But what do you do when you discover a problem with your vehicle? Finding one problem forces you to look at things a lot closer, and often you’ll discover a lot of other problems as well, small or large.
With a long list of repairs in front of you, how do you decide which things to fix first?
Here are a few things to consider when making that decision.
As I’ve mentioned in many of my articles, decision-making when it comes to your car is a very personal thing. Above all else, the first things you should consider are your personal priorities, and your willingness or ability to spend money on repairing your vehicle.
Decide on the budget that you have have first. Then look deeper into how much of that money you are actually willing to spend on your car. While it might be tempting to spend as much of your money as possible on the car that you drive every day, it might also mean sacrificing the ability to spend that money on other things in your life, since everyone has a limited amount of cash every month.
A person for whom their car is their ‘baby’ or the ‘love of their life’ might be willing to spend more. However, a person who is saving up money to travel more often might be willing to drive a car that operates at a less-than-optimal level for the sake of being able to afford plane tickets instead.
Ask yourself, where does your car or motorcycle rank on your list of personal priorities, and use that as a guide for your decision-making. There are no right or wrong answers here.
Matters of Safety
The first thing you should evaluate is whether or not the problem is a threat to your overall safety. Leaking hoses or valves, for example, may put you, your passengers, and the vehicles around you at risk.
Another example that we see (or even hear) often while driving is when people do not replace their brake pads even though they are extremely worn out. In my personal opinion, this is incredibly irresponsible. You as a driver are operating a vehicle that moves fast in one direction, and the ability to stop in a timeline manner is often a matter of life or death. Imagine how dangerous it would be if someone walked in the path of your car and you couldn’t stop in time because of your faulty brakes!
Problems that pose a safety risk should always be fixed first. Remember, you as the driver and/or owner of the vehicle are responsible for the lives of your passengers, and for anyone else on the road that you might put at risk. Do not put them in danger just because you decided to procrastinate or delay necessary safety repairs on your car.
Nothing is worth more than the human life; always remember that.
While safety is of the utmost importance, some repairs are crucial to ensure that the car can actually operate in the first place.
Comfort and aesthetic repairs like those for the car air-conditioning in the interior, or dent repairs and paint touch-ups for the exterior could perhaps be sorted out later. It might mean driving on the road with a car that doesn’t look perfect, but if there are other more important problems that need to be sorted out first, then maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.
However, ensuring that the engine, the tires, and the cooling system for instance are definitely much more crucial to repair first so that the car can actually function on the road.
In the End,
there needs to be a balance between prioritizing safety-related repairs and repairs that actually keep the car road ready, because what good is a completely safe and secure vehicle if you can’t even drive it out of the parking lot in the first place?