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Automotive Repairs: Handling Unexpected Costs and Reducing Stress

Published on Apr 20, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

Car maintenance issues can arise without warning, causing financial strain and anxiety. Ensuring your vehicle stays in good condition is crucial, but the question of how to cover car repair costs now and in the future remains. Luckily, there are solutions!


How to Prepare For and Manage Sudden Car Repair Expenses


Oh no! My car broke down, and I’m short on funds!

A car malfunction is a classic unanticipated expense, and figuring out how to cover repair costs can be a challenge. Your vehicle is essential for maintaining daily life, so if car repair stress is getting to you, take a deep breath and explore these suggestions for funding vehicle maintenance.


Turn to friends, co-workers, or relatives

A non-functional car doesn't mean you're stuck. Ask a friend or relative to lend their car (or give you a ride) while you save for your vehicle's repairs. Alternatively, contribute to a colleague's fuel expenses if they're willing to drive you to and from work a few days a week.


If possible, work remotely to minimize car dependence and allocate any extra funds toward repairs. When you count on others for rides, you might be surprised to see just how much money you can save by skipping unnecessary expenses like dining out. That way, you can set aside cash for repairs even faster.


Explore side jobs

To get back on the road, you need to boost your finances. Why not take on a side gig that doesn't need a car? You can write blogs from home, sell unneeded possessions, or provide housekeeping or babysitting services for nearby friends and neighbors to save for that car repair invoice.


Identify urgent car repairs

Unexpected car repairs are never convenient, but sometimes, time can work in your favor. Determine which repairs are critical and which can be postponed. You might be able to resume driving sooner than expected and address minor issues later.


Clear your car loan and sell the vehicle

If repair costs exceed your car loan balance, consider using savings to pay off the loan, sell the car, and purchase a more dependable vehicle. Then, focus on replenishing your savings and budgeting for future car maintenance.


Opt for a short-term personal loan or credit card to cover repairs

Some auto repair shops provide financing, but this may not be suitable for those with poor credit or a low credit score. Instead, choose a personal loan or a car repair credit card with additional benefits and a competitive interest rate.


Protecting Your Future: How to Budget for Car Maintenance

Many car owners overlook regular maintenance services, leading to costly repairs later. Once your car is operational again, you'll want to ensure it stays that way.


Set aside money monthly for recommended scheduled maintenance. Small repairs and regular maintenance can save money in the long run, so prioritize them even if your car is currently problem-free.


Unsure how much to budget for car maintenance or emergency and unexpected repair costs? Review last year's finances to determine average monthly car expenses. Save at least this amount monthly, and more if possible.


Still uncertain about the amount? Schedule a Comprehensive Vehicle Inspection at your local Kunes Service Center for a full check-up and a list of necessary regularly scheduled maintenance services and their estimated annual costs. Our expert technicians can also inspect your vehicle and inform you of any significant repairs you may need soon, allowing you to start saving for them.


8 Unforeseen Car Repair Expenses (and more) You Likely Haven’t Considered

When planning your car maintenance and repair budget, remember these frequently overlooked costs!


Insurance Premium Increases

Rising living costs in many cities may lead to insurance rate hikes for some drivers. Set aside extra funds before your policy renews in case your premium increases.


Tire Replacement

Tires are often an afterthought until they need replacement. Although tires can be pricey, discounts and deals are frequently available. Ask your Kunes service advisor for more details.


Traffic Violations

No driver intends to receive a traffic ticket, but accidents happen. Plan for expenses like speeding tickets and citations for a broken taillight (which may also require budgeting for repairs).



It's essential to prepare for worst-case scenarios. In the event of an accident, you may need to rent a temporary vehicle and cover out-of-pocket repair costs, depending on your insurance policy.


Windshield Replacement

Some cracks can be repaired, but a windshield replacement may be unavoidable. A damaged windshield impairs visibility and can worsen over time, posing a safety risk.


Brake Replacement

Brake pads are often overlooked when budgeting for car expenses, but they require regular replacement to maintain proper brake function. Visit your local Kunes Service Center for a brake inspection by a professional technician to help assess your brake pads' lifespan.


A Dead Car Battery

Battery failure can result in a complete breakdown without warning. Be prepared to replace the battery immediately.


Damaged Accessory Belts

A broken accessory belt can render your car inoperable. Schedule regular maintenance inspections to identify potential belt issues before they leave you stranded.


What if I Can’t Afford My Car Repairs?

When budgeting isn't enough, you need alternatives. Kunes CDJR of Platteville's Service Center may be able to help. Signing up for a Kunes Platinum Rewards Mastercard for car repair financing, competitive APR, and more.* Visit Kunes CDJR of Platteville's Service Center for more details today!


* Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply.

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