Every car owner understands the stress involved with auto repair. You will either have to spend money to get a mechanic to fix your car or invest some time and energy into fixing your car yourself. While both strategies can be annoying, the tips in this article can help you decide what to do.
Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. This kind of certification tells you that whoever will be working on your car has a couple years of experience and has passed a test. This is a good way of finding a qualified mechanic who will care about doing a good job so they can keep their certification.
Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. That means the technician has more than two years of experience and passed a test. This means a top professional is doing your repairs.
Regularly check out your radiator. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Check your radiator fluid and remember to mix water with coolant before filling your radiator.
Make sure all repair records are kept close. Put these records in the glove compartment in your car for easy access. Repair professionals may want to see these records for repair purposes. They help them figure out what’s wrong quickly.
Have a battery charger in your car at all times. Dead batteries are a common problem for many drivers. Additionally, having a charger with you will allow you to aid other motorists in similar need. Make sure you learn the points on your car where the battery charger should be connected.
Whenever your car undergoes repairs, make sure you have the written record of what was done. If you have more problems later, other mechanics can decipher why. Not maintaining these records will likely mean you have to spend more money because diagnosing the problem will be harder for the mechanic to do.
Wash your car often so you can prevent rust. Salt and other harmful chemicals will speed up the rusting process. If you want to avoid rust at all costs, do your best to clean the car thoroughly after contact with these substances. Make sure you regularly wax your car so that you protect the paint.
Be on the lookout for clear indications that a mechanic is not the right one for the job. If you have trouble getting a straight answer out of them, (or if, even worse, they refuse to answer questions to your satisfaction) they probably aren’t the kind of people you want to work with. It is important that you trust the person that is repairing your vehicle, and if you don’t, then go somewhere else.
Take all valuable items out of your vehicle before taking it in for repairs. The technicians may have to move out these things to fix your car, and they cannot be held liable if anything goes missing. Take all items out of your trunk, too.
Assemble an auto repair kit and put it inside of your trunk. You should definitely have the tools necessary to change a tire, if you need to. You need to purchase a lug wrench and a jack if you do not have them. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Don’t waste your money by purchasing cheap tools. Invest in high-quality tools that you will own forever.
If you’re headlights don’t appear to be as bright as they once did, you may want to check their cleanliness. Sometimes the road’s greasy residue can get on a light and reduce the output of light. Wash them with a good glass cleaner and see as well as you should.
Is a work-at-home mechanic a viable option? These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. The costs will always be much lower.
Do you know the signs of a low quality mechanic? If you are being talked to in circles and your questions aren’t answered, then you will want to go elsewhere. It is good to feel like you trust your mechanic, so move on if you don’t feel like you can.
Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. Your dashboard lights warn you of potential problems. If you keep ignoring them it’ll make the problem worse.
Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. Most of the new cars of today have them in the trunk. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.
A dealer is not your only option when car repairs are necessary. Great mechanics are everywhere, regardless of whether you visit a local mechanic or drive out of town to visit your dealer. If you find someone that you’re comfortable with, they should be used.
When you need a major repair done, get numerous estimates. Most shops are honest, but some are not. Take your time and find a shop you feel you can trust. Also, look for someone who has experience with your type of car. These mechanics will most likely be more experienced in fixing your kind of car.
It can be dangerous to repair vehicles on your own. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. You will need these in case you ever have a flat tire. Keep in mind that a jack needs to securely hold up your vehicle, especially if you’re going to be under it. Thus, hydraulic jacks and jack stands are important to have.
Check the tire pressure each time you fill up on gas. Look at your tires and ensure that there’s nothing stuck on them. If you notice any issues, address them immediately. It’s dangerous to drive on faulty tires.
Never neglect your windshield wiper blades. If you notice your wiper blades leaving streaks on your windshield, or they chatter, then it is time to obtain new blades. Wiper blades should be replaced a minimum of once per year. If your area receives a lot of rain, then you may need to replace your blades more regularly.
It is important to get a warranty on your car when it gets repaired. This is even more important if the parts put in are pricy. Be sure and ask the mechanic what the warranty is on the parts that they have ordered. Inquire as to how long it is for and also ask for a hard copy of the contract for your review.
Ask friends for referrals. Your loved ones might have some good recommendations for you to check out. It is still important to do your homework. Go online and see what else is being said about the shop.
Don’t be fooled into getting an engine flush by repair technicians, as it is not a normal procedure. Flushing your engine is generally unnecessary unless you’ve subjected it to great abuse, (like a long time between oil changes) and it’s simply too expensive to purchase unless your car really needs it.
Find out how much a mechanic charges for the repair, including labor, before you hand over your keys. Ask questions until you are sure you have clear answers. You need to know how you’re billed for the repairs. Some stops estimate repair times according to what the manufacturer suggests. A lot of repairs that seem to be easy to fix could end up taking a whole day in some cases.
Do not allow anyone to sell you any auto parts that they claim will last a lifetime. This is often just a scheme for the business to take as much money as possible from vulnerable consumers. There are some cars that proclaim a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. It is not something that will be changed often, but the transmission fluid is not guaranteed for a “lifetime.” In reality, you should change it around once every 80,000 miles.
Always keep in mind that attempting auto repair on your own has its share of hazards. Don’t ever do repairs alone. Invest in high quality tools that won’t break on you. This is very true for things such as tire changing tools. The jack has to be strong enough to keep the car secure above you. Therefore, it is vital to purchase a hydraulic jack with strong stands.
After fixing the brakes but before you test drive it, bleed the brakes. After this, pump your brake fluid. Test it for leaks to ensure that no fluid can run out. You should then be ready for test driving on a road that lacks tons of traffic. Start slowly so you can make sure your repairs went well.
Don’t try and figure out what is wrong with your car by yourself. Bear in mind that you are not trained as a mechanic. A minor issue can spiral into a huge dilemma. Let the mechanics handle the diagnosis. Allow them to know whatever is going on with your vehicle and what kinds of noises you’ve heard and let them make the decision as to what can be done.
After paying a mechanic to replace an old part on your vehicle with a new one, ask him to give you back the one that he removed. If he refuses, that may be because no part was ever replaced at all. This is a definite red flag and you should call him out on it.
Your mechanic should have the right qualifications to work on your car. You should be sure they have been approved by the ASE. You should be able to trust they have a certain amount of experience and skills necessary to work on your car.
For you to diagnose car problems, you need to be able to identify components of your vehicle. If you feel your knowledge is very limited, auto repair classes can be a worthwhile endeavor. While attending a car class may not be your idea of fun, simple maintenance information can save you money in the long term. With this knowledge, you can deal with things before they become big issues.
Some untrustworthy shops will give you old tires in the place of your original tires. Some shops will try to squeeze every dollar out of you. Put chalk marks on the tires prior to bringing the car in. After the repair is complete, check to see that the chalk is still on your tires.
If a mechanic won’t give you a written estimate, don’t get work done. If they don’t do the work properly, you’ll struggle to recover damages and you will lack proof of whatever work they were contracted to do.
It is not uncommon to find out about other problems when collecting a car from a repairer. Some shops use this tactic to try and get you to spend more money. Tell the mechanic that you will need to think about it, then shop around for a better price.
When storing your car, you can minimize the potential for repairs if you place the vehicle upon jack stands and fill the tank. Be sure the storage area remains dry enough to avoid rust, and do not set the parking brake.
When you have work done on your car, have the mechanic give you the old parts when they are finished. If he doesn’t do this, it could be that he never replaced any part. This is a definite red flag and you should call him out on it.
Do not add water to the compartment for windshield washer fluid. Water can clean the windshield, but it may damage the compartment since it is designed to use special fluid. Monitor your windshield washer fluid container on a regular basis, and refill it when necessary. This will help you stay safe while driving on the roads.
Should your repair quote run more than a couple of hundred dollars, get an estimate in writing. Written proof can prove to be invaluable to settling any disagreement you may have with the mechanic. Mechanics aren’t as likely to charge you for unrequested repairs as well.
All quotes should have itemized costs, including parts and labor. Breaking the repairs down facilitates easy comparison between more than one repair service. Usually the costs of parts are roughly equivalent, so the real competition comes with the labor and service costs.
You can make car repairs less stressful. Use what you’ve learned here to make your experience with auto repair a lot easier. Your car will thank you.
Finding a mechanic is your first challenge to having your car repaired. If a mechanic appears less than honest, don’t give them your business. Some red flags include mechanics who talk too fast for you to follow, ignore questions, and avoid eye contact. This usually means that have something to hide and they may try to overcharge you.