Cars can be time consuming and very costly if you aren’t sure how to keep them running well. Besides learning about your specific car model, you should know a few other tricks as well. Read on to save yourself time and money in the future.
Mechanics should have ASE certification before you hire them. Being A.S.E. certified ensures you that your mechanic has proper training and experience. This is one good way to separate the wheat from the chaff when picking a good mechanic.
Never underestimate how important it is to carrying an emergency kit inside your vehicle. A battery charger, tire changing tools and an extra can of gas are just a few of the items to have on hand. Also, add a flashlight, some batteries, and some blankets in case there is a nighttime breakdown.
You might not need a mechanic to fix your car problem. Many situations can be self-remedied. Research into auto repair online may help you identify the problem. You can save a lot by doing small repairs yourself.
Ask any questions you have. Focus particularly on the issue that you have; make sure to inquire about what you can do to prevent similar problems in the future. Preventative measures will save you a whole lot of money in the long run.
As the mechanic whether they’ve worked on your make and model before. If they have experience with your type of car, they are more likely able to correctly diagnose and fix the problems your vehicle is having.
Keeping your car washed will help prevent rust. 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. A good wax can help you keep your paint job protected well.
Remember that getting OEM parts is important. These parts are issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. What may seem like a deal now can cost twice as much as buying OEM in the first place.
Look over the manual that came with your car. This will help you when it comes time for you to visit your mechanic if a major problem occurs. You can find the information you need to know in your owner’s manual.
Don’t leave valuables in your car while you’re having it repaired. Your mechanic may need these parts removed so that they can make repairs. If you discover missing items later, they hold no liability. Clear out your trunk, too.
Be careful of mechanics who will do unnecessary work on your vehicle. 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. If a mechanic tries to charge you for unneeded repairs, find another mechanic.
Has your mechanic worked on your model of vehicle before? There can be a lot of differences between vehicles, even though the base components are similar. If you’re not sure, it may be worth it to pay extra at the dealer.
Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. They will likely be taken out and may be lost. You want to remove items from your trunk also.
Think about locating a person that fixes vehicles and owns a garage. As long as they have experience they can do the same work but they often charge far less for the labor. Next time your car is in need of repairs, ask around for referrals for an unlicensed but fabulous mechanic.
Do you know the signs of a low quality mechanic? If they ignore your questions or talk in circles, you’d be wise to not use their services. You need to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so don’t be afraid to choose another one.
Keep your car washed during the winter. While it probably doesn’t seem like there’s a point, winter time can be damaging to your vehicle. Salt and sand lead to rust and abrasions. Wash your car thoroughly and dry it to keep ice from forming on it.
You may not be a mechanic, but your trunk should always have a spare tire and a jack at the very least. Most vehicles come with them, but you want to check anyway. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. You can save money and have an easier time doing it on your own.
Before you take your car in to the shop, learn about the standard classifications for auto parts. There are a few different kinds of parts. “New” parts have been just created to the manufacturer’s specifications either by them or an independent retailer. If a part is rebuilt or reconditioned, it has simply been fixed or restored. “Salvage” parts have been used without being improved or repaired.
If you notice your vehicle’s headlights or taillights have blown out, then it is possible to repair these issues yourself rather than visiting a mechanic in order to save money. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it. Ask someone you trust if he can teach you how to fix these problems.
A lot of auto repair is based on people being consistent in what they do. If you’re lucky enough to have a shop you trust, use them regularly. By shopping around different mechanics, you won’t get consistency regarding what your car really needs. The amounts they charge you may vary and you may have to pay more.
Talk to your mechanic about the rates that you will have to pay. A few shops hide their rates, so make sure to read the fine print and ask questions whenever necessary. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Some mechanics bill you for estimated labor times established by the manufacturers they work with. Repairs that seem minor may take all day long.
Once a mechanic has replaced parts on your car, ask to have the old ones back. If he refuses, that may be because no part was ever replaced at all. This is not acceptable, and you should tell him so.
Make sure that you clean your car in the winter as well. Your car may get dirty again quickly, but all that buildup is terrible for your car. Sand, salt, and other debris are going to be working hard towards making your vehicle start to rust. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
When you are getting a quote for repairs from an auto mechanic, be sure to have him itemize the parts and labor costs. You’ll find it much easier to compare quotes from different garages when they’re all itemized. It’s likely that the actual parts will not vary greatly in price, but the labor might.
You don’t need to visit a car dealer in order to get your car fixed. You should be able to find reliable mechanics in your area, either by going to a repair shop or an independent garage. Consider using one if they appear to be good.
Spend time learning the ins and outs of your car and how it works. You shouldn’t always need to rely on the auto-mechanic when a problem occurs, but that’s only possible if you spend some time studying your vehicle. This allows you to save a lot on the long term and even help your friends with their cars.
If you see a small problem in your vehicle, you should take your car in to check it out anyway. Many people ignore smaller issues, and they eventually lead to much larger issues.
Mechanics are typically the first hurdle when it comes to auto repair. Use your best judgment in determining whether the mechanic is honest. If a mechanic ignores your input, or avoids making eye contact, that is a good sign to stay away. They generally will be hiding things, like the real cost of the repairs you need done.
Warranties are very important when you get your car fixed, especially if you invest in expensive parts. When you are getting car repairs, ask about warranties on parts. Get a printed copy of the warranty and keep it in a binder with other important car paperwork.
Decide whether you want your auto repairs done at a garage or at a dealership. Dealerships will cost you a lot more money, but you get trained technicians that specialize in your vehicle. Garages are cheaper, but you may end up dealing with someone dishonest.
Ask your mechanic if he can wait a few hours for you to think about getting your car fixed after getting a diagnosis and a quote. You can then check with other auto repair shops so that you can compare costs. If you can get a cheaper price, simply pay the mechanic for the work they’ve done and go somewhere else.
Have all of your auto repairs performed at a mechanic fully authorized by your car’s manufacturer. By doing this, you can save a lot of money due to the fact that your warranty will cover many costs. Taking your car to another dealer may actually void your warranty!
When you have work done on your car, have the mechanic give you the old parts when they are finished. If he cannot provide this, he may not have done anything with your car. If this happens, look for another mechanic.
Do not try to work on your car unless you have experience doing it. By tweaking and tinkering, it’s possible you might void any manufacturer or dealer warranty. This means you’ll be responsible financially for any problems in the future.
A sturdy file should be kept within the vehicle for filing of repair receipts. You can either divide them up into basic maintenance and repairs, or just keep them in chronological order. The point is you have a good record of all things done to your car, and this can prove extremely helpful. This can come in handy later on.
Not all cars need oil changes every 3000 miles. This was a popular old rule to follow for many years. Nowadays, cars are built to go at least five-thousand miles without needing an oil change. Look at the owner’s manual to find out how often you should change the oil.
Ask someone you trust for referrals. This is the best way to find a mechanic because his skills have been proven based on your friend’s experience. This is a far better option than giving your business to a mechanic you know nothing about.
Do not think that you just have to get a tune up after 100,000 miles. This is simply a myth and nothing more. It’s best to use your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Your climate may also be a factor.
Never get car repairs performed by a shop that isn’t authorized by your car’s manufacturer. If you do this, a lot of the costs will be free of charge since they will be covered by your warranty. By getting with some other dealer you could end up voiding some or all of the warranty.
As soon as you determine what the issue is with your vehicle, look online to compare prices for spare parts. This can give you a good comparison on what you should be paying. Weigh the estimate you get with those given to you by repair shops.
Learning about repairing your car just makes sense. In addition to being able to help others and yourself, you can save money. Don’t forget these tips and use them when your car needs it.
If the mechanic says that your car needs more work than the manual, then you should just follow the manual. That keeps costs down and ensures nothing extra is done.