As a mechanic, teamed up with a service advisor, it is part of my job to help customers make some tough choices. Something that come up a lot is deciding to fix all of a cars issues, or break the repairs up over time.
From a very selfish place, I would say always fix it all at once. I mean, that is how I get paid! 🙂 Truth be told, there are some advantages to getting everything repaired in one shot.
If you get multiple repairs at the same time, there will most likely be some overlap in jobs. For example, if I am replacing a timing belt, it will most likely be cheaper to replace the thermostat as part of that job, rather than a second repair.
There can be a savings in materials. Take that same timing belt job, if I replace the water pump AND the thermostat at the same time, it will save on buying coolant twice.
The shop might help you out. My dealer works really hard for all our customers, but someone doing a lot of repairs might just get a better deal. From parts prices, to labor costs, the big jobs allow for some flexibility.
Those are the big 3 reasons for getting all the repairs knocked out all in one shot. The negative is, of course, COST! Cost is usually the deal breaker on repairing you car that way. Sometimes you just can’t break the bank to pay for repairs!
There are some benefits to spreading out repairs too. This would be if you have 10 thing wrong, and fixed 1 every month.
Fixing your car this way will allow you to budget for future repairs. You can save up and get the big things fixed first.
The shop still might help you out. If the car is in a few times for repairs, the shop might still try and save you some money.
The big negative to doing repairs little by little is, things might pop up between repairs. This is actually really common. Nothing worse than planning out repairs, and something else go wrong. To be fail, that could really happen either way you go.
The best advise I could give is, make sure you have a great mechanic, and great service advisor(do not underestimate a great service advisor). They should be able to help you gauge the best approach to fixing you car!!
What do you guys think, am I out of line? How would you do it if you were faced with a large repair bill?