Your car is probably one of your most important possessions, since you depend on it to get you to and from work (among other places). You may not know a lot about cars, but you might want to learn. If that is so, continue reading to learn more about automobile maintenance.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you are unclear about certain things, clarification is needed before repairs are started. You don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.
When you arrive at a repair shop, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Focus particularly on the issue that you have; make sure to inquire about what you can do to prevent similar problems in the future. You can prevent issues with your automobile, saving you some money.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. Whenever another issue crops up, it is most helpful for your technician to take a look at this document. Without records, you might have to pay higher costs due to taking longer to find the problem.
Before allowing an auto shop to do repairs to your vehicle, ensure you are aware of the total cost. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. This will give you a good idea of what you will be paying.
Beware mechanics who charge you for repairs which are unnecessary. All reputable mechanics will notify you before doing any repairs and will inform you of any parts that could require repairs in the immediate future. A mechanic who has performed this practice should never be patronized again.
Get referrals to find a great auto mechanic. Look to your family, friends, and colleagues for their suggestions. They will be able to give you a heads up about satisfaction, quality and price. Those close to you will be able to give you an honest retelling of their experiences with certain mechanics.
Take out all of the valuable items in your car when it is being repaired. The mechanic may need to remove these items in order to do their job, and they are not responsible if you find out later that something is missing. Clear out your trunk, too.
Always get a second opinion, a reputable mechanic will not be offended because he knows his diagnosis will be confirmed. Most shops are honest, but some are not. Find a shop that specializes in your particular make of car. These mechanics will most likely be more experienced in fixing your kind of car.
Examine your headlights if they appear dim; they may simply need a good clean. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. Use glass cleaner to wash them thoroughly.
Don’t stop washing your car in winter. While it probably doesn’t seem like there’s a point, winter time can be damaging to your vehicle. The sand and salt from winter leads to rust and abrasion. Just make sure you dry the car thoroughly before heading back out onto the roads to prevent icing.
Look for the warning signs that your mechanic is not as competent as you might hope. If they beat around the bush and act shifty, they may not be the one you want to work with. Having a mechanic you can trust is extremely important; don’t waste your time with one who can’t make you confident in his skills.
You don’t need to visit a car dealer in order to get your car fixed. Great mechanics are everywhere, regardless of whether you visit a local mechanic or drive out of town to visit your dealer. If you find someone that you’re comfortable with, they should be used.
Prior to bringing your car to a shop for a repairs, try to find out what the issue is. You can save a lot of money by diagnosing it yourself, and it could also protect you from being a victim of fraud. You may already know that a few mechanics sometime engage in dishonesty if they think they can make a larger profit.
It may be a good idea to fully photograph your car internally and externally prior to taking it in for repairs. While many shops won’t strip your car, some will in order to make more money. Fight against this kind of scam by thoroughly documenting the condition of your car beforehand.
Check to see if the mechanic you are considering is familiar with your make and model of vehicle. Different cars require different skill sets. If you’re unsure about your chosen mechanic’s ability, consider having a dealer repair your vehicle.
Don’t allow auto mechanics to persuade you that getting an engine flushed is normal maintenance. This is a pretty expensive service and you do not really need it unless you have been doing things that have been particularly bad on your engine, like failing to change your oil regularly.
Put together a small tool kit for your car and keep it in your trunk. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, add oil and a gallon of water. If you don’t have a jack and lug wrench, get one. You should probably get a few screwdrivers with various shapes as well as different wrenches like for this kit. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
Bleed your brakes after your work is done on them. After this step, pump the fluid of the brake. Check to make sure there are no leaks that can cause the fluid to escape. Now you are ready for a test drive on streets that don’t have much traffic. Be slow when you start so you’re sure of whether or not the repair worked.
Take off all of your keychain charms; just use your key. Your car’s ignition is simply not designed to hold all that weight, even if it may not seem that heavy to you. If your key starts sticking, you need to change the tumblers and eliminate the troll buddy that’s weighing down your keychain!
You can easily do some preventative maintenance such as adding more oil or refilling the windishield wiper fluid compartment. Routine maintenance can be done by you. Don’t be afraid to get dirty hands with your new found knowledge.
Know what the lights on your dash represent. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. Whatever problem they are indicating will only get worse the longer you ignore it.
If the mechanic’s hesitant about getting you a written estimate, go elsewhere. Then he can charge what he likes and leave you stuck with the bill. It is always a good idea to get these things down in writing beforehand, even if the estimate is off a bit.
Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. They are attempting to make money this way. Mark your tires with some chalks before taking your car to an auto shop. If the marks are gone, talk to the mechanic.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your mechanic. Go beyond price to truly understanding the work he plans to do. When will the repairs be done? What’s being worked on? How much do parts cost? Ask away. You have a right to know. That proves to them that you know what you’re talking about.
Don’t let a mechanic tell you that flushing your engine is routine maintenance. This is a costly service and not something that is typically done during the course of normal maintenance.
If they do great work at a auto shop you’ve been to, try going to them when you need future work done. If you have a positive relationship with your auto repair shop, you can feel sure your car will be repaired properly. You might also receive a loyalty discount.
There are no auto parts that will work forever, so don’t believe any claims to the contrary. This is a trick used to charge you more for parts. One example is that some vehicles say their transmission fluid will last a lifetime. While the transmission fluid will last quite a while, it won’t last forever. It is best to change it at the 80,000 mile mark.
Sometimes you need to keep a car in storage for a significant amount of time. Put it on stands and fill the gas tank. Be sure the storage area remains dry enough to avoid rust, and do not set the parking brake.
Some things you can do yourself, including adding oil and other fluids. Do not assume you need to hire a mechanic to do this because you have no experience with maintaining your vehicle. Realize what you’re getting yourself into, but don’t be afraid to get dirty!
When having their car repaired, some people ask for the worn or broken parts to be returned to them when the work is finished. That ensures the replacement actually happened. In certain cases, (like most work on your car’s exhaust) getting the old parts back isn’t actually a necessity. It’s easy to tell if the new exhaust system has been installed or not.
Keep a plastic accordion file in your car and put all your auto repair receipts in it. You can divide them by type of repair and maintenance or use a simple reverse chronology system in which you place the most recent repair receipt on top. You need a record of the car’s maintenance so you can give it to mechanics later. It is always a good idea to keep good records.
Ask friends for auto shop recommendations. You will feel more confident in their skills when they come recommended by someone that you know. This is a much preferable option to using an unknown entity.
Learn about what makes your car function. Don’t always rely on auto mechanics if issues occur, but only if you’ve learned about the issue yourself. You will save plenty of money if you don’t have to have your tires or oil changed.
Sometimes the hardest job is finding the right mechanic to fix your car. You should look elsewhere if a prospective mechanic seems untrustworthy. Watch out for mechanics that fail to make eye contact, talk fast, and ignore your questions. This means that they are likely hiding something and will not be honest about repairs.
The benefit of modern automobiles is that they are equipped with warning indications about things that are malfunctioning. However, you can’t rely solely on the sensors and lights. Warning sensors can also fail so it’s important you are always aware of what is going on with your car.
Do you want to take your vehicle to a dealership or an independent mechanic? Dealerships are generally more expensive, but they are definitely familiar with your car. Local mechanics are cheaper, but their work isn’t guaranteed.
When you’re shopping for a mechanic, they must be familiar with your specific car. Ask whoever will be responsible for the repairs if they have experience with your particular make and model. If this isn’t the case, your car should be taken somewhere else.
Always get repairs done on your automobile by people that have a manufacturer’s authorization. Doing this means many of the issues will be covered since they’re under warranty. If you go to another dealer, you may not qualify for free repairs.
Minor repair work can be put off but get to a mechanic immediately if you notice problems with your tires, electrical system, steering wheel or brakes. You can end up causing a bad situation if you’re not getting things replaced and they end up breaking on you.
Car care is priority one. You can save yourself a good amount of money if you even just know simple maintenance. Use the tips here and keep them in mind when your car acts strangely or you are worried about a minor problem with your car.
You don’t always have to change your oil after 3,000 miles. That used to be the case but isn’t the standard anymore. Modern vehicles can go 5-10,000 miles. Read your car’s owner manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.