Auto repairs can be very expensive. When a car gets older and especially after the original warranty has expired, it sometimes feels like you would be better of making a car payment and paying for full coverage car insurance than spending all the money you are spending to take care of it. There are some auto repairs that we have to fix no matter how we feel about it. For example, when an exhaust leak starts to get bad on that old rusty pickup truck, you are probably going to have to start choosing a repair shop to spring for a new muffler, unless you want to keep getting pulled over every couple days.
But there are some other repairs that can wait without much damage done. When money is tight, and it gets tight for all of us sometimes, it is hard to keep up with these things and come up with the money to keep a car in proper working order. It is hard enough just having enough money in your pocket some weeks for a tank of gas. If the cost of constant auto maintenance has got you down, start thinking about some of the repairs you've been getting done to the car and ask if they are really necessary to do right now, or if they could wait.
Sometimes oil leaks scare the pants off of us because of all the other problems they could be precursors to. You picture walking out to your car to go to work and seeing your rusted out oil pan laying in the driveway. But in the meantime, if you check the oil every day and make sure that you keep it at the proper level, a minor oil leak does not necessarily require instant action. It is true that we have to bear in mind that there is always a risk of losing the oil pan, or blowing up the motor. But if you are short on cash, don't throw big bucks at a repair that maybe can be nursed for a little while.
Engine knocks are another category that terrifies most of us outside the industry. If you know a good mechanic that will check out your car for free, let him listen to those engine knocks. If it is a wrist pin or a piston slip or something like that and the mechanic is sure that you are not in imminent danger, don't create a bill today that can wait until tomorrow. Just do not plan to do anything like this unless you have a trusted mechanic (perhaps one endorsed in your car insurance guide) drive or listen to the vehicle and come up with a conclusion about the source of the problem, and get assurance that it is something that can wait.
Cosmetic repairs have to be the worst investment of money in used cars that have been acting up and not running good. There is no reason to spend a dime painting a car when you have had engine problems, for example. That sweet new teal color actually won't make it run any better. This same rule applies to body repair and to interior fabric rips and things of that nature. If a car is a money pit, don't make it worse by wasting money on these things. If it is not a classic car or on its way to being one, there is usually never any reason to waste money on a paint job. Be sensible about the things you do with your money and save more cash by holding off on auto repairs that can wait.