You’re heading downtown when all of a sudden, your car sputters and gives up on you. You hope against hope that you can bring your engine back up to speed—but even if you do, should you count this as a success?

Car engine repair is an important step in safe driving. Though spending money on auto repairs might seem like something you want to put off as long as possible, you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re driving a reliable vehicle. You might be able to find a way to lower the engine repair cost so it doesn’t break the bank!

And if the cost is still too high in the end, getting rid of your car might be a better financial decision. That way, you can save up for a new car without sinking your money into something that’ll need special maintenance in the future. We’ll help you compare the costs.

Engine Repair Cost Options

If you want to get your engine repaired, you have a few options. You might be able to save money by searching for an auto repair shop or independent mechanic who can give you a better engine repair cost estimate than the dealership.

This isn’t always easy, though. You need to make sure the mechanic or repair team knows how to handle your car’s specific make and model. Ask them if they have experience with cars like yours.

And if they don’t, it might be better to go to the dealership. They might charge you more—like an engine oil leak repair cost that’s several hundred dollars—but you can trust they’ll have the specific experience your car needs.

An independent mechanic might save you a few hundred dollars, but if they do a poor job, you’ll have to spend more money on an additional repair.

Getting Rid of a Car

If the engine repair or replacement costs are out of your budget, you might find that it’s easier to find a way to get rid of the car altogether. And even if you can afford a repair right now, you might be facing more and more repairs as time goes on. Getting rid of your car now rather than later can save you some money you would’ve otherwise spent on engine repairs and replacements.

Trading or Selling It

You might be thinking of trading your car back to the dealership to save you money on a new car. This can be tricky, though. When you do this, the same people who buy your old car can just raise the price on your new one.

If you’re well-connected with the local community, you might be able to directly find someone who’d want to buy your car.

Junking It

The word “junk” is a bit of a misnomer here. It’s usually applied to things that have no value. But if you decide to junk a car for cash nearby, you’ll find that you can often get quite a bit of cash from the deal.

Search your local salvage yards to find a place that will give you cash for junk cars. This is often easier than trying to find the right person to sell your car to.

Donating It

If your car is still in decent working condition, you might be able to donate it to someone who needs it. There are nonprofit organizations out there that accept donated cars and can provide a tax write-off as well.

So don’t think of donation as just the “good thing to do” option. It could be a cost-effective option as well.

Make the Choice That’s Right for You!

Whether you drop off your car at the mechanic, the dealership, or the junkyard, it’s important to do something about a failing engine. The engine repair cost might seem daunting at first, but there are lots of ways to bring that number down. So stay smart and keep your options open!

And if you want to learn more expert tips about day-to-day living, check out the rest of our site.