Since you use your car to travel, it’s more than likely important to you. You might not be knowledgeable about cars, but that’s fine, as you can learn more about them. This article is intended to help provide a little more confidence in your abilities and teach you the basics of simple auto-maintenance.
You should always have an emergency kit available in your vehicle. 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. Blankets, matches, a flashlight, extra batteries, cans of food and some water help, too.
Buy a good battery charger to keep in the car. 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. Learn how to find connection points so that you can use the charger with ease.
Keep an eye on your radiator levels. Run your car for a bit, turn off the engine and then open the hood. Never open the radiator cap if the engine is running. Check the amount of fluid in your radiator with your dipstick and remember to mix the coolant with some water.
You should always have an emergency kit available in your vehicle. 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. Add some blankets, a flashlight and some batteries in case your car breaks down at night.
Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If something is not clear, clarify it with the service adviser or mechanic before starting any repair on the car. You probably don’t want to incur extra charges after the car has been repaired.
Check your radiator frequently. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Use a dipstick to check the fluid level in your radiator and mix some coolant with water if you need to add more fluid.
Asking around for recommendations is a great opportunity to locate a mechanic you can trust. Talk to your friends and family and ask if they have any recommendations. This gives you the opportunity to find out about costs and the overall quality you can expect. People can tell you what type of experience they had and whether the mechanic was honest or not.
Get to know your owner’s manual, or take the time to note important information. 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 can find the information you need to know in your owner’s manual.
Keep car records handy. It’s wise to keep them in your glove compartment in case you need to go to a auto repair shop on the fly. The mechanics who work on your car might need to go through these records. This will help them assess the problem quicker and more precisely.
If you’re headlights don’t appear to be as bright as they once did, you may want to check their cleanliness. Headlights often accumulate grime and other debris during normal use. Before taking your car into the mechanic for this, try giving the headlights a good cleaning first.
Take the mechanic for a drive before getting your car repaired. A lot of people forget to test drive their vehicle and pay for repairs that did not really fix their problem.
Verify that a prospective mechanic is familiar with your specific car. Cars vary greatly by make and model so it is important that your mechanic is familiar with your make and model of car. It may be worth the extra cost to have a specialized dealer fix a major problem with your car.
Do you know the signs of a low quality mechanic? If they avoid your questions, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s best to feel that you trust your repair person, so don’t hesitate to move on.
If you need major repair work done, make sure to solicit multiple price quotes. The shop you’ve gone to may be trying to rip you off. Search for a reliable shops that is knowledgeable with your kind of car. These shops can better understand the needed repairs for your vehicle.
Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. They are included with most new vehicles. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.
Replacing the bulbs on your taillights or headlights yourself can save you both time and money. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it. Find out if anyone in your family can do it and could pass along their knowledge to you.
You shouldn’t forget about your wiper blades. If your wipers are not doing a good job or often streak or chatter, you need new ones. 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.
You do not necessarily have to go through your dealership if repairs are needed. There are many great technicians all over the place. If someone makes you comfortable, use them.
Try looking for someone who fixes cars on their own property. These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. This can save you a lot of money, and at the same time, help out a small auto shop instead of letting a big shop profit.
Keep in mind that it’s not always safe to do some auto repairs. Ensure that you have help close at hand in case something goes wrong. Get high-quality tools that will not break while you’re working. You definitely don’t want to skimp when it comes to the items you use for tire changing. The jack must hold the vehicle securely and safely. Do you really want to get under your car with a poorly made or faulty jack? Err on the side of caution with a hydraulic floor jack, specifically one that has safety-tested and approved stands.
You should check the tire pressure when you go to the gas station. Make sure there are no objects embedded in your tires at the same time. If there’s an issue, get it fixed quickly. You don’t want to drive around with bad tires.
You should always look for a warranty when you’re working on a car problem and need a part that costs quite a bit. Talk to your repairman about the warranty parts come with. Ask about warranty length and and acquire a printed version for your reference.
Consider taking pictures of all areas of your vehicle before you bring it in to be repaired at an auto body shop. Most auto shops are totally reputable, but there’s always an exception that may consider stripping some things from your car. The appearance of your vehicle needs to be documented in case something bad happens.
A good mechanic will likely have some credentials. Look for the seal of approval from the National Institute for Automotive Excellence. It says the mechanic knows his stuff.
Know whether or not your mechanic is properly certified. A NIAE seal of approval is something to look for in a mechanic. That shows the person has some credentials and has maintained certain standards, so you will likely receive better service.
If you’re short on funds, find a vocational school in your area to see if they can repair it. There your car will be worked on by students learning their craft. They are inexperienced, of course, but they will be under the watchful eye of a trained, experienced mechanic.
One of the trickiest ways that shady mechanics rip customers off is by adding repairs that weren’t agreed to in the beginning. This is a common techniques used to give you the impression you got a good bargain as well as excellent service. Let them know that you will let them know, and search other shops to see if a better price is available.
Give the brakes a bleed after you’ve done work on them. After bleeding your breaks, make sure that you pump your brake fluid. Check for leaks. Now you can give the car a test drive when there is little traffic. Go slow to make sure the repair is holding before you speed up.
If you notice a dangerous defect on a new vehicle, get in touch with its manufacturer. It’s possible there’s been a recall on that car, and you might not be the only one having the problem. Sometimes, you will get the auto repair for free.
Once a mechanic has replaced parts on your car, ask to have the old ones back. If he won’t, he may not have replaced them in the first place. This is not a good sign and you should confront him about it.
The dealer’s mechanics are expensive but worth it. You can rest assured that the technician working on your car is a specialist who know their way around your model. They are able to quickly diagnose your problems and are familiar with common issues to your vehicle’s make. They also utilize regular auto repair training programs to keep their skills up to date.
Don’t get work done if your mechanic gives you problems when asked for a written estimate. The written estimate will serve as proof if something goes awry.
Tell your mechanic that he cannot go over a certain dollar amount to repair your car unless he gets your authorization first. If you leave your car for a service assessment, don’t give the mechanic carte blanche on repairs. Inform them that they must contact you for approval before proceeding with any repairs over the stated dollar amount.
When discussing your car’s problem with a mechanic, question him about the repair and why it is needed. You need a thorough understanding of the repair, not just a price quote. How long will this job take? What kind of work is being done? How much does each part cost? Ask whatever questions you have. The more you find out, the more confident you will be when future repairs are needed–especially if this becomes a recurring issue.
If the mechanic hems and haws about giving you firm estimate, you may want to find someone else. You’ll have no written word of work done.
When your car is in the shop for repairs, ask for the old parts to be returned to you. You will be able to determine if a repair actually took place. In certain cases, (like most work on your car’s exhaust) getting the old parts back isn’t actually a necessity. It is easy to see whether or not an exhaust system has been properly installed.
Ask your mechanic a lot of questions. You need to get some details on the kind of repairs needed. How long will the job take? What type of work is being performed? How much will parts cost? Do not hesitate to ask any questions your have. It will demonstrate to the mechanic that you are savvy about your car, plus it will help you if the same problems happen again.
Do not put regular water in the windshield wiper reservoir. Using water in place of windshield washing solution can damage your car’s entire window cleaning system. Make sure there is plenty of fluid in the compartment. If the compartment is empty, stop using the system.
Taking proper care of a vehicle is an extremely essential and important part of life. Even learning simple maintenance can save you a lot of money from going to the mechanic. Remember these tips when you feel like something’s wrong with your car.
If you are looking for a place to repair your car, you should make sure that the mechanic is familiar working on your type of automobile. You should ask to be sure the mechanic has the experience with your particular make and model of vehicle. If they’re not familiar with your car, take it somewhere else.