When you don’t know how to maintain your car, it will cost you money. You should learn about the specificities of the model you own, as well as other things. Read the following article to help you save both time and money.
Before giving your car keys to the service department, make sure you know what the cost for the repair will be. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
If you have to take a vehicle in for repairs, be sure you ask a few questions about the vehicle. You should ask about the problems you have and what to do to avoid them in the future. Preventing issues can save you a lot of money.
Make sure to study your owners manual. When you’re trying to get something repaired on your vehicle, you’ll be able to get more assistance if they’re able to read information quickly about your car. You may figure out, that when the manual is read that your issue is something you may be able to fix on your own.
Inspect your radiator once in a while. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up the hood. Never open the radiator while the car is on. Check the level of fluid in radiator and add any if necessary. Be mindful that some coolants are meant to be mixed with 50% water.
Make sure that you have car records on file. Put these records in the glove compartment in your car for easy access. Auto service experts may need to refer to them. They can find problems much quicker that way.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you need clarification, ask the service advisor for additional information before repairs commence. You surely do not want unpleasant surprises when you go to get the car.
Look out for any mechanics that add unnecessary repairs. A trustworthy mechanic should inform you about parts that are becoming worn and will need replacement in the near future, but no parts should be replaced without first getting your approval. If a mechanic did an unnecessary repair on your car, don’t take it there again.
Wash your car regularly to prevent rust from becoming a problem. All cars will eventually rust out, but you can delay the process considerably by making sure any salt or chemicals are washed off as soon as possible. Make sure to wax your car so as to protect the paint.
Keep a spare tire and jack in your trunk. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You do not want to stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to pay a ton of money for a tow. It’s cheaper and easier to do it by yourself.
Referrals are a great method for finding a great auto mechanic. Can you get a recommendation from a friend or someone that you work with? This lets you ask them about their experiences with that mechanic, how much it cost, and if they were satisfied. People can tell you what type of experience they had and whether the mechanic was honest or not.
Ask for labor rates or prices before hiring a mechanic. Many shops display a list of their rates, so make sure you understand everything involved in their billing practices. You must be able to tell how the repairs are being billed to you. Repair times for some shops are determined by manufacturers. Simple repairs could be an all-day affair.
Before you pay for repairs, take the car out for a spin to make sure things are working as they should. If you don’t, you may find that you paid for nothing.
Learn to recognize the different warning lights on your dashboard. These warning lights are meant to help alert you to potential problems. Do not ignore them, as this can put your safety in danger.
Make sure you replace old parts with OEM parts. These means they are parts that come directly from the manufacturer. While generics are much cheaper, they are not held to the same quality standards. It might be a great deal, but if you have to continue to replace the part, it is not going to be a good deal in the long run.
Be aware of shops that take out your tires and put in old ones. They feel they can get money from your ignorance. Mark your tires so that you can check them later. After the repair is complete, check to see that the chalk is still on your tires.
Take out all of the valuable items in your car when it is being repaired. If something is missing, it will be your fault if you do not take it out. Also, be sure to remove everything from the trunk.
Often people will take a vehicle in for service, only to find out when they pick it up that there are more problems. They usually give you a quote higher than what the job is worth, then they will pretend to give you a lower price as a “deal.” Don’t make any hasty decisions; call around and find out if there aren’t better deals to be had.
Keep a repair kit in the car at all times. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, add oil and a gallon of water. A car jack and a lug wrench are essential tools to have. Then have a screwdriver kit, socket wrench kit, ratchet set, torque wrench and adjustable wrench, too. Don’t get cheap tools. Invest in quality tools that will not break as you perform repairs on your vehicle.
Make sure to bleed your brakes after working on them. Then pump out the brake fluid. Look for any leaks that may cause you to lose fluid. After this, you can test your car in light traffic. Be slow when you start so you’re sure of whether or not the repair worked.
Take all those fun and fluffy keychains off, or make it possible to remove your car key from the bunch. The ignition is not suited to that weight, even when you think it isn’t much. If your key sticks, install new tumblers and use a lighter key chain.
Sometimes it can be rather costly to pay the dealer mechanics, but this can be your absolute best option. The technicians at dealerships are trained to work on your particular model of car. Problems can be more quickly diagnosed and common problems fixed fast. They are trained frequently, too.
Find out about all costs before hiring a mechanic. A lot of places will put rates in the fine print and so you need to read over any paperwork carefully. You have to figure out what you’re going to get billed with and how to pay. Repair times for some shops are determined by manufacturers. A lot of repairs that seem to be easy to fix could end up taking a whole day in some cases.
Once you have paid a mechanic for replacing a part of your vehicle, ask him or her if you can keep the old part. If your mechanic cannot show you the parts, you have no way of knowing if the parts have actually been replaced. This is troublesome and you should tell him so.
Just because the days are colder doesn’t mean you should avoid washing your vehicle. Winter can be hard on your vehicle. Sand, salt, and other debris are going to be working hard towards making your vehicle start to rust. Be certain to dry your car completely before driving again, so that icing does not occur.
Use an accordion file folder to contain all auto service receipts and keep this folder in your car. Divide them by repair, preventative care and maintenance or a chronology system. You just want to make sure you have a full maintenance record for the car so that you can ensure proper repairs and full satisfaction should a dispute arise. It only takes a few minutes to do, and the record can be a valuable tool.
Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are many shops where skilled auto technicians reside. If you’re comfortable with a local mechanic, don’t be afraid to use one.
Be sure and ask questions when speaking with your mechanic. Don’t keep the questions about price; ask questions about the work being done and why it is needed. What is the estimated time frame for repairs? What work is to be done? How much are the parts going to set you back? You can ask questions that arise. This will help the mechanic see that you are a concerned customer, and most mechanics are happy to educate you about your car.
There are a lot of body shops that will put older tires on your car. They feel they can get money from your ignorance. Put chalk marks on the tires prior to bringing the car in. You have been duped if there is no chalk on the tires when you pick it up.
If you’re going to have to store your car away, you may be able to avoid having to repair it later by filling your tank and putting the vehicle on jack stands. Store it in a dry place and don’t use the parking brake.
Not many people invest the time in reading their car’s owner manual. Review this manual to learn how it’s to be used so that you can find helpful information quickly. Your manual will tell you what needs to be known when it comes to keeping your vehicle maintained so you can do repairs if you have to.
Ask anyone you trust for a mechanic recommendation. These mechanics have already proven their skills to a person you trust. It’s much better than taking a risk with a shop that nobody you know has previously used.
OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is good to know whenever your car or truck requires new parts. Talking about OEM parts makes you look knowledgeable. This tells the mechanic that you know what you’re talking about and don’t want used parts.
Because of the harsh conditions during winter months, your car’s interior can suffer. Heavy-duty, rubber mats offer great protection at these times. They keep your interior safe from water, salt and dirt. During winter or rainy seasons, these mats are a must-have.
Talk to the manufacturer when there are extreme issues with your automobile. There may be others having the same issues and it may require a recall from the manufacturer. As a general rule, they will take care of the car repairs.
When washing your vehicle, remove the mats, shake them and hit them with your hose. Dirt is something that can get lodged in your car’s mats and that can eat through it after a while. Holes will render the mats useless.
It is important to know about the different components of your vehicle so you can easily diagnose where the problem is coming from. If you feel your knowledge is very limited, auto repair classes can be a worthwhile endeavor. The money you spend on a class will be well worth it. With this knowledge, you can deal with things before they become big issues.
Do you want your dealer to fix your car or a local mechanic? While a dealer may charge more, their technicians specialize in the make and model of your particular vehicle. An independent mechanic will usually not charge as much, but there is a possibility of you being ripped off.
As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to learning about the basics of auto repair. You can teach other people how to do repairs and rely on your own expertise. Do not forget the advice here so you can fix your car yourself.
Ask someone else for their opinion before you perform a major automobile repair. Do not trust a mechanic who wants to start working on the vehicle right away or offers you a discount. If you really need a repair and they offer a fair price, they won’t hesitate to honor their quote or stand by their word.