Dealing with auto repairs can make you feel inadequate and powerless. It is frustrating for millions of people. If so, you can change that. Put yourself in the drivers seat with the sound advice about auto repairs found below.
An emergency kit is a must for your car. Your kit should include jumper cables, tire changing tools and maybe some extra gas. Blankets, matches, a flashlight, extra batteries, cans of food and some water help, too.
One of the most important qualifications to look for in a mechanic is the ASE certification. 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. You will then know that you are dealing with a trained professional.
Keep your car clean to prevent rust. Cars are all destined to rust, but the process can be slowed by keeping salt and chemicals away from the paint whenever you can. Wax your car often to protect the paint, as often as you can.
When you arrive at a repair shop, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure to consider previous problems you’ve had, and ask how to prevent them. Preventing vehicle issues is a great way of saving money annually.
Know your auto manual very well, or at least dog ear important pages. You need to know the basics about your car prior to visiting with a mechanic. What you think may be an issue, may not be at all according to the manual.
Always keep a record of any maintenance done to your car. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. These records will make identifying issues much easier to diagnose and will save you time and money.
Do not pay an auto mechanic until you have test driven your car to be sure they did their job. Many people don’t take this crucial step and wind up plagued by the same issue that brought them to the shop in the first place.
Check with your mechanic to see of they have experience working with the make of your vehicle. Basic components are usually the same, but there are big differences in different types of cars. If you’re not sure, go to the dealership for repair.
Be wary of mechanics that try and make unnecessary repairs to your car. A reliable mechanic will tell you if any parts are worn down and need replacing. But, they should ask for your approval before replacing them. A mechanic who has performed this practice should never be patronized again.
When bringing your car to a mechanic, tell them you want OEM parts. These means they are parts that come directly from the manufacturer. Generic parts can be cheaper but OEM parts will last longer and usually come with a better warranty. Although you save money in the short term with generic parts, its not really a deal if they have to be replaced again in a few years.
Keep a tool kit for doing auto repairs in your trunk. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars. If the necessary lug wrench and jack are missing, replace them. Basic tools such as screw drivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, torque wrench and other basic tools are also handy to have. Avoid purchasing cheap tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
If you’re headlights are giving off dull light, they may just be dirty. Sometimes the road’s greasy residue can get on a light and reduce the output of light. Wash them with glass cleaner and you should be able to see better.
Never forget about your wiper blades. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. Get new wipers blades yearly or on a more regular basis if there is often rain or snow where you live.
A spare tire and a jack are essential items to keep in your trunk. Newer cars almost always have them. Being stuck with a flat tire is not something anyone hopes for. Paying for someone to help is expensive. It is simpler and cheaper to do the work yourself.
Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. Most shops won’t damage your vehicle, but you never know. This can give you proper documentation in the case of an accident.
Get multiple estimates if you’re in need of major service. While most mechanics can be trusted, you might wind up being charged more than is necessary. Find shops that specialize in the job that your car needs. You’ll get a better repair on your car because these shops will know exactly what your car needs.
Don’t try to diagnose complicated issues. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. Problems can be more complicated than they initially appear. Allow the automobile repair shop to correctly diagnose the problem. Give them every detail about what happened and if there were any sounds associated with the problem, and let them diagnose the trouble.
Look to your friends for their opinions on reputable car mechanics. They can help point you in the right direction if so. Even after getting a few names, though, do your research. Use online resources to see feedback from others as well.
Your mechanic should have the right qualifications to work on your car. Look for the NIAE seal of approval. This also will help you feel confident that the quality of your repair will be up to par.
Your tire pressure should be checked when purchase some gas. Examine the tires for anything that might be stuck in them. If you notice any problems with your tires, have them checked by a professional. Driving around with bad tires is not something you should ever do.
If you are short on cash and need some auto repairs, you should think about going to the car repair department of a vocational school near you. You will get an excellent rate and your car will be fixed by an instructor and students in training.
Warranties are extremely important when it comes to auto repairs, particularly if you’ve purchased expensive parts. Ask the mechanic about the parts’ warranty. Ask about warranty length and and acquire a printed version for your reference.
Look for the AAA logo if you need a reliable mechanic. They will send out a tow truck if you break down and can help you find a reputable mechanic. You’ll often find that AAA has great discounts that reduce any out of pocket costs.
Be sure the mechanic you choose is properly certified. Look for the seal of approval from the National Institute for Automotive Excellence. This will tell you if they are properly trained and will provide you with quality service.
You should be able to do small auto repairs on your own, like adding wiper fluid and oil. Do not assume you need to hire a mechanic to do this because you have no experience with maintaining your vehicle. If you know how to do routine maintenance, go ahead and do it.
There are many some unscrupulous auto body shops out there that will remove your tires and replace them with older ones. Some shops will try to squeeze every dollar out of you. Before going in, mark up your tires with chalk. If you find the chalk is missing later on, question the shop about what happened.
After you pay the mechanic to replace older parts with newer ones, have them return the older parts to you. If he doesn’t do this, it could be that he never replaced any part. This is not a good sign and you should confront him about it.
If your money is really tight and you really need vehicle repairs, try talking to an auto repair department at a local vocation school. This gives you the option of paying less for a repair while students get the opportunity to practice under a licensed mechanic’s supervision.
Get an estimate in writing when a mechanic provides you with a quote over $200. With a written estimate, you will have proof should the work prove faulty. Besides, the mechanic will be less likely to add unnecessary repairs to your bill if he already provided you with a written quote.
Do not believe a mechanic who tells you it is necessary to get your engine flushed to maintain your car. This expensive service is only necessary if you have introduced the wrong fluids into your system or have not been changing the oil often enough.
Have a number in mind when you take your car to the shop; tell the technician that if the repairs will cost more than that, you need to be notified. If you leave your car for a service assessment, don’t give the mechanic carte blanche on repairs. Set a specific dollar amount that can’t be exceeded without a phone call to you for authorization.
Not many people bother reading their owner’s manual. It is important to thoroughly read over this manual so that you can learn all you need about your vehicle. The manual is full of key facts about your car and how to perform minor repair work.
Put your car on a jack when you are placing it in storage. Do not use the parking brake. Also, store the car somewhere that is dry to prevent rust.
OEM also known as original equipment manufacturer. When having replacement parts installed on your vehicle, you might want keep this information in mind. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. This tells the mechanic that you know what you’re talking about and don’t want used parts.
If you are getting a part replaced by a mechanic, you should ask for the old part back as well. This will allow you to know whether or not they really repaired what they said they did. With some repairs, like replacement of an exhaust system, this is not necessary. It’s easy to tell if they have installed a new system.
Going to the dealership can be costly, however it is usually the best option. They really specialize in your make of car. They know what’s wrong and can fix it fast. There are many training programs that they have to pass to become certified.
If they do great work at a auto shop you’ve been to, try going to them when you need future work done. To be sure you are getting good work, it is great to have a solid relationship with a mechanic. Another advantage is money saving discounts that are often offered to long time customers.
Don’t put water in the windshield washer compartment. 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. Don’t insist if the compartment seems empty.
When getting auto repairs, ask the mechanic to return the old parts. This way, you’ll know that the part has actually been replaced. This isn’t essential for a repair, such as an exhaust system. It’s easy to tell if they have installed a new system.
When you take your vehicle for repairs, the first person you meet is the mechanic. Do not get work done if a mechanic seems to be untrustworthy. Be wary of mechanics that won’t answer your questions or make direct eye contact with you. They generally will be hiding things, like the real cost of the repairs you need done.
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. Not only do the holes look bad, but they will also let dirt through to the carpet underneath the mats.
Now you understand the basics of car repair. Know that you can take control, and don’t allow yourself to be victimized by an auto repair shop. Continue to learn all you can about care repair, so this never happens to you.
Do you understand mechanic certifications? When a mechanic has an A.S.E. certification, they are probably reliable. However, each state has its own mechanic certification. If you can, find someone who has both the A.S.E. and local state certifications.