The car repairs I refer to here are those so-called ’emergency’ breakdowns that happen. Very few of those should actually happen. Most items that can break and stop you in your tracks can be detected before they break.
Suspension items, like shocks and springs, can be regularly checked for leaks, wear or cracks. Steering items like tie-rods, linkage arms and steering boxes will give wear signals to an alert driver.
Tire wear will also indicate a problem though that takes time to show up. As I’ve said elsewhere, report any unusual shakes, noises or changes in handling qualities to your mechanic as soon as they occur. Always ask for an inspection when your car goes for regular maintenance, though the best garages will do this for you.
Don’t be shy about making the noise you hear to your mechanic. Also let him know when it occurs (i.e. during braking, on right turns only, etc) Being aware of how your car functions and not ignoring something because ‘it’s just the car getting old’ will let you avoid most of those ’emergency repairs’ and keep you off the tow truck.
A word about warning lights…for most issues it’s not a warning so much as a ‘Too Late!’