If you own a vehicle, then you know that repair can be a pain. It’s either going to cost you money for a mechanic to do the work, or it’s going to cost you your time to attend to it. Both solutions have their pros and cons, and you should learn more about them by reading this article.
An emergency kit is a must for your car. You need tools to change a flat tire, charge a battery, and you must have spare gas. Also pack a few blankets, some batteries, and a good flashlight.
Referrals are a great method for finding a great auto mechanic. Get recommendations from family and friends. Ask them how good the work was, how much they were charged, and if they were satisfied. You can use their experiences to determine whether a mechanic is honest or not.
Regularly check out your radiator. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Use a dipstick to check the amount of fluid in the radiator. You should also make sure to mix coolant fluid with water before you pour it into your radiator.
Be sure to keep your car’s records. Keeping them in the glove compartment is smart. Professional mechanics are going to ask for those records. This will help them assess the problem quicker and more precisely.
Do you understand what the estimated cost for your fix is? Ask any questions you have about the service before they start work on the car. You don’t want to be surprised by unexpected charges.
Look up reviews online for body shops in your area. This gives you an idea regarding the public’s view of the particular service and lets you know who and where you should avoid. You can then use that information to pick a shop that you can feel comfortable giving your money to.
Wash your car regularly to prevent rust from becoming a problem. 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. Waxing your car helps protect the paint.
Get OEM components. These are the manufacturer’s original parts. It’s cheaper to get the generic parts, but the quality may not be the same. A cheap, generic part is less of a bargain if it only lasts half as long as an OEM part would.
Referrals are a great method for finding a great auto mechanic. Ask the people you know for their recommendations. You can learn about the quality of work, the pricing and if they were satisfied with the service. They can let you know if they had a good experience and whether or not the mechanic was trustworthy and honest.
Attempt to self-diagnose ahead of going to a garage. You can save time and money if the problem is correctly diagnosed, and finding a reliable mechanic will also be easier. If you bring your car to a shop, you are sure to pay a hefty fee.
Before making your payment to the mechanic when picking up your car, take it out for a spin first to check that everything is working. Many people fail to do this and they end up having the same problem that they had before taking the car in to get it repaired.
Be sure that the mechanic is experienced working on your model of vehicle. Cars vary greatly by make and model so it is important that your mechanic is familiar with your make and model of car. Do not hesitate to take your vehicle to a dealership to have experienced mechanics work on it.
Watch out for mechanics that don’t know what they’re doing. 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. Only choose someone you trust.
Have a DIY kit for auto repair in your car at all times. Your car came with equipment needed for changing a tire. If you lack a lug wrench and a jack, purchase both. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Get high quality tools that will be able to withstand the test of time.
It is a good idea to keep a small set of tools in the back of your car for minor repairs on the road. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars. A lug wrench and a jack are essential. You will need several screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Never go with the first estimate you receive. Most mechanical shops are trustworthy, but others may try to slip in little extras which quickly add up. Seek out shops that are reputable and are good with your vehicle’s make and model. These shops are better equipped to handle your car repairs.
Know what all the lights stand for on your dashboard and be aware of when they go off. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. If you simply overlook them for months on end, there is a chance your vehicle might sustain irreparable damage.
Memorize each light and symbol on your dash instrument panel. When one lights up, it helps to understand what you’re dealing with. Paying attention to these warnings is always in your best interest. Problems will worsen if you simply ignore them.
It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. Though it might seem futile, the winter months can cause lots of damage. Salt and sand can tear away at the surface of your car. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
You don’t necessarily have to visit the dealer in order to get your auto repairs done. There are many shops where skilled auto technicians reside. Find someone who you are comfortable with and stick with them.
You don’t necessarily have to visit your auto dealer to get work done. There are great techs everywhere whether there’s a great shop 10 minutes from your house or whether you decide to go to the dealer further away. Consider using one if they appear to be good.
Bleed your brakes after fixing them. Once done, give the brake fluid a pump. Check to make sure there are no leaks that can cause the fluid to escape. Now you are ready for a test drive on streets that don’t have much traffic. Start slowly so you can make sure your repairs went well.
Check to see that the technician is certified. Look for the seal of approval from the National Institute for Automotive Excellence. When they have this, you know they are trained properly and are going to give you good results.
When you receive a list of the issues involved in your auto repair from your mechanic, ask for some time before deciding on having the work done. This will allow you to call around and see how much other people would charge to fix a problem similar to yours. If you are able to find a better price, you might owe the shop some diagnostic labor, but you will not be stuck with an overpriced repair.
Get yourself an AAA membership. Joining the AAA can be a real lifesaver when it comes time to call a tow truck or deal with a auto repair shop. Also, they often have discounts that can save you money.
Any quote over $200 needs to be provided in writing. Written proof is always beneficial if you end up taking the mechanic to court. In addition, your mechanic will likely not perform unnecessary repairs whenever he or she already has a written quote.
When a mechanic gives you a diagnosis, get a second opinion before deciding to fix your car. Call around and get more quotes before making your decision. If there is a cheaper price elsewhere, then you need to go to that shop.
If the mechanic hems and haws about giving you firm estimate, you may want to find someone else. If the work isn’t completed in the correct way, you may not be able to get help recovering damages because there won’t be proof of what they did.
Set an expense limit that you are willing to let the mechanic reach without your authorization. If you drop your car off to be assessed for services, don’t give the repair shop carte blanche to make the repairs. Ask your mechanic to give you a phone call if he finds more problems that need to be fixed.
When your mechanic hems and haws over a written estimate, don’t use him. If the work is done poorly, you won’t be able to recover costs because there is no written proof of the contracted work.
You should never put water in your windshield washer compartment. The system needs windshield washer fluid, so water can damage the system. Be sure to check the levels of your washer fluid frequently and refill it when needed. Don’t wait for the compartment to empty before refilling.
When getting a repair from an mechanic, you may ask to have the old parts returned to you. This is a good way to ensure the repairs have indeed been performed. In certain cases, (like most work on your car’s exhaust) getting the old parts back isn’t actually a necessity. It is easy for you to determine if your exhaust system has been replaced and a new one has been installed.
When you are asking for a quote from an auto shop, get them to separate the cost of the parts from the labor costs. This will assist you in comparing quotes between several mechanics. Most of the time there is little difference in the charge for parts, so it becomes simple to compare the cost of labor.
Make it a habit clean your car mats every time you wash your car. Dirt particles stick to the rubber surface; as time goes on the particles can create holes. Holes let the dirt go right into your carpet and make your car look poorly.
If you need to get your car fixed, start by finding a reliable mechanic. A shady mechanic should be avoided. Be watchful for mechanics that talk too fast, ignore questions and won’t make eye contact with you. This means that they are likely hiding something and will not be honest about repairs.
Get more than one opinion about any extensive automobile repair. The mechanic might get offended, or maybe offer you a deal, however these should be taken as warning signs. When the repair is necessary, he should be happy to let you take it elsewhere as they should say the same thing.
Winter does a lot of damage to a car’s interior; use heavy-duty mats made of rubber to protect the carpet. This can prevent your carpet staining from mud and slush. These are necessary during winter and rainy seasons.
Do not try to repair your own car unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. If you do a shoddy job, it may not be covered by your warranty. This means you’ll be responsible financially for any problems in the future.
You can ignore minor car repairs, but if something is wrong with one of the major systems, you need to get it repaired right away. You may end up in danger if one of these parts ends up breaking down.
It may be unpleasant to face auto repairs, but there are ways to improve the situation. The things you’ve gone over here are going to help you out quite a bit if you need to work on auto repairs in the future. You will be happy, and your vehicle will run smoothly.
Rotate your tires regularly. Ideally, you should rotate your tires every 6000 miles or so, but you might need to do it more or less often depending on the model of your vehicle. Get new, good quality tires; they won’t get worn down very quickly.