It can be very expensive to repair a car. You will need to pay for car parts and a mechanic to provide service to your vehicle. But many minor repairs or maintenance chores can be done by you and save you money. Well now you can, thanks to the tips in the following article.
Have records for your car on hand. These should be kept in the glove compartment of your vehicle for easy access out on the road. Auto repair professionals likely will want to see those records. This will help them assess the problem quicker and more precisely.
An emergency kit is a crucial item to have handy in your car. You need to have tools in your kit that will allow you to change the battery, help you get some extra gas and tire changing tools as well. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.
Your repair person should be upfront and honest with you. If you are being talked to in circles and your questions aren’t answered, then you will want to go elsewhere. It is important that you trust the person that is repairing your vehicle, and if you don’t, then go somewhere else.
Check your radiator frequently. Keep your car running then shut the engine for several minutes before opening the hood. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Check your radiator fluid and remember to mix water with coolant before filling your radiator.
Make sure any mechanic you hire knows about your particular vehicle. While the basic components are all the same, there is going to to be a big difference in the way say a Hummer versus a Smart car utilize the space under the hood. If you’re not sure, go to the dealership for repair.
Make sure that you wash your car frequently to reduce rust and corrosion. Rust is an inevitability, but you can stave it off for a good while. Use a decent wax for protecting paint jobs as much as you can.
If you have something major that needs to be done by someone at a shop, you have to be sure you get more than just a single price. Although shops are generally trustworthy, you may end up paying for extra repairs you don’t need. Try and locate a shop that specializes in servicing your particular type of car. These repair shops are better equipped to understand and repair any problem your car has.
It is a good idea to use referrals to find a decent mechanic. Ask co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. This lets you ask them about their experiences with that mechanic, how much it cost, and if they were satisfied. You can find out about the experience with a mechanic and if they can be trusted or not.
A mechanic who has his own shop is worth considering. Mechanics who work from home are often able to charge less because they don’t have the overhead that shops do. You may save a lot of money by going down this route.
Ask for parts that are classified as OEM parts. These parts are the same original parts designed by the manufacturer. Generic parts may cost less, but they are not as good. A cheap, generic part is less of a bargain if it only lasts half as long as an OEM part would.
Find out how much a mechanic charges for the repair, including labor, before you hand over your keys. Not all shops will be upfront about their prices, so ask anyone available for this information. Also find out how you are to be billed. Many car dealerships may charge by “book time” which is a set rate based on how long the repair should take to do. Other shops may charge an inflated rate for a minor repair that should be done within a shorter period of time.
Don’t leave anything of value in your car when it’s being repaired. Your personal items can get in the mechanics way, and they may have to move them. Also, remove everything from the trunk.
Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. If you simply overlook them for months on end, there is a chance your vehicle might sustain irreparable damage.
Look out for obvious “red flags” when dealing with a new auto repair company. If a mechanic is not giving you straight answers or cannot explain repairs in details, you should keep looking. Since it is important to trust the person who is repairing your car, don’t hesitate to look elsewhere for a person to repair your vehicle.
Be sure that you make a note of your oil change schedule. In order for your vehicle to run as well as possible, you need to have the oil changed regularly. Not getting an oil change will only shorten the life of your vehicle, so make sure that you set some type of reminder.
Ask your mechanic if he has had experience working on your type of car. Although cars are generally similar in some ways, there are big differences between models. If you’re not sure, go to the dealership for repair.
In the winter, you still need to wash your car. Although you may think there is no point to it, your car is more likely to get damaged in the winter. Sand and salt is something that can cause rust and abrasions. Just be sure that you’re drying your car off before you start to drive around so that ice doesn’t form.
A burned out headlight or taillight is a common repair. This can usually be done yourself. In some vehicles, this repair is easier than in others. But, if you can do it yourself, you will save money. See if someone you know can tell you how it’s done.
Take pictures of your entire vehicle before taking it to the shop to get repaired. Some disreputable garages will strip your car in order to up their bottom line. It is better to document what your vehicle looks like just in case this horrible thing happens to you.
See if you can find someone who is knowledgeable about cars to do the work for you. As long as he knows what he is doing, he can charge less for the same work. You can support small business and save hundreds on the cost of the repair.
Although you can easily handle minor issues with your vehicle, you should not attempt to fix major issues. You are not the expert, and you must remember this. It may be a problem that’s harder to fix than you think. Let the professionals do the diagnosing. Provide them with every detail of what happened and what was heard, but let them provide the final diagnosis.
Speak with friends about auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. Your loved ones might have some good recommendations for you to check out. You should still do your research however. Online reviews can give you a quick overview of anyone that you have in mind.
There are some sketchy mechanics that will take your tires and put old ones on your car. It is a profit racketeering tactic that is used to boost profits. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. If you find the chalk is missing later on, question the shop about what happened.
Ask about prices and labor rates before you give your keys to a mechanic. There are many unscrupulous mechanics who are not upfront about their costs and policies. Make sure you get an itemized list of what you’re getting charged. Some shops provide repair time estimates established by manufacturers. Simple repairs could be an all-day affair.
Make sure to bleed your brakes after working on them. Afterwards, be sure to pump your brake fluid. Look for any leaks that may cause you to lose fluid. You can then get ready to take a test drive in an area with little to no traffic. Start slow to ensure nothing is wrong.
It is often best to get minor issues checked by a qualified professional if you are not sure how to fix them. A small problem could be a symptom of a larger issue.
Some examples of things you can do on your own is adding windshield wiper fluid or oil to your vehicle. You can do these routine maintenance jobs yourself. Mechanics aren’t required. Know what you are doing first, but then do not hesitate to get your hands greasy.
Although you can easily handle minor issues with your vehicle, you should not attempt to fix major issues. It takes special skills to work on cars. What you may see as a simple fix can really be very complicated, especially if you own one of the newer vehicles equipped with a computer. Leave the diagnosing to your auto repair shop. Tell them every detail and let them do the rest.
You should be educated on the parts of your car so you can easily figure out what problems it has. If you know nothing about cars, you may want to take a auto repair class. Although it’s probably not good to go to a class if you’re not able to pay for it, getting some basic knowledge about cars can help you to save up some money later when you can fix problems. This allows you to easily fix any problems.
Warranties really come in handy when you need to replace parts. Ask the mechanic about the parts’ warranty. Ask about the lentgh of time of the warranty and for a contract in writing to review it.
Set cash limits on what car work can be done without specific authorization. It is important not to just let the shop do whatever they please. Set a dollar amount that cannot be surpassed without an authorization from you.
If your car is brand new and having problems, get in touch with the manufacturer. It’s possible there’s been a recall on that car, and you might not be the only one having the problem. The manufacturer may even fix your car free of charge.
If you have to put your vehicle in storage, place it on some jack stands and fill the gas tank. Don’t engage your parking brake and be sure the area it’s stored in is dry in order to prevent rust.
Learn to do some of the easy auto repair tasks on your own to save a trip to the shop. It’s a falsehood that only mechanics are qualified to perform routine maintenance. You must know how to do certain things, and then you can grease up those hands.
Don’t put water where the windshield washer fluid goes. Water can clean the windshield, but your system is made for that special fluid and water could damage it. Monitor your windshield washer fluid container on a regular basis, and refill it when necessary. Just make sure you are using specific windshield washer fluid instead of water.
Decide whether you’d like to have your car serviced by an independent garage or your dealership. Dealerships are generally more expensive, but they are definitely familiar with your car. Independent garages may cost less, but you also run the risk of hiring a dishonest company.
Do not add water to the car’s windshield washer reservoir. Even though water can clean the windshield, the windshield washer system is designed to receive washer fluid and using some water could damage it. Be sure to check the levels of your washer fluid frequently and refill it when needed. But don’t try to add more if it is already full.
Ask questions. When you want to get your car fixed, you should know everything involved. Any company worth its salt will answer these questions for you.
Educate yourself about your car so you know more about how it works. You can only avoid the mechanic if you spend time learning about your car. Oil changes and flat tires for example, can be attended to more cheaply yourself.
Find a mechanic who is already familiar with the make and model of your vehicle. Ask and see if the mechanic has experience with your make and model of car. If this is not the case, find someone else.
There are few cars that will never need some sort of repair. This does not mean that you need a mechanic for the repairs. You can use the money you’d pay them to make your own repairs. These tips can give you the ability to do the repairs yourself.
Getting tires consistently rotated will prevent wear. You should have them rotated around every 6000 miles, but it may depend on the model and make of the vehicle. Only buy high quality tires to ensure they last another 6k miles.