Your car may be a crucial investment since you need it to get to work and back, among other places. Perhaps you are not very knowledgeable in the automotive field. If that’s what you want, read on to learn about simple maintenance.
You don’t always have to take your car to the shop when there is an issue. You can do a number of things on your own if you know how to. Have a look on the Internet and see if you can narrow down what the issue could be. If the job is a simple one, you might save a bit of money if you make repairs on your own.
The best way to find a good auto mechanic is getting referrals. Ask the people you know and trust who they take their vehicles to. This allows you to ask about the price, quality of work and satisfaction. They will be the first to tell you about a dishonest mechanic too!
Always have a good battery charger in your car. This is a common cause of breakdowns, and carrying a charger helps other drivers as well as yourself. It is important to not only have the battery charger but to know how it works as well in case you are alone.
Do an online search of reviews about your local automotive repair shop. This will also allow you to know what the public thinks of how they handle customers and how good they are at solving any problem you may encounter. This can play a big part in the shop you eventually choose to do your car repair work.
To keep rust from becoming an issue, wash and wax your car regularly. All cars eventually succumb to rust, however you can delay this process by washing all salt and chemicals from your car immediately. Wax is also important.
Make sure you are receiving 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. 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.
Make sure you are receiving OEM parts. These parts come from the manufacturer of your car. It can cost a lot less to use parts that are generic, but you won’t get the most out of these things after a while. 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.
You don’t want to neglect the wiper blades on your vehicle. If your windshield wipers aren’t performing up to par, it may be time for 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.
Don’t leave anything of value in your car when it’s being repaired. These items may need to be removed anyway, and they aren’t responsible for lost or missing items. Also, remove everything from the trunk.
Look into an auto repair person that uses their own personal garage. If they possess sufficient experience, they can typically do jobs for far less cost. You’ll be able to save quite a bit of money and will help them a little bit because you won’t be dealing with a big place.
Make sure the mechanic you hire is properly qualified. If they ignore your questions or talk in circles, you’d be wise to not use their services. It is important to have full confidence in the competence of your mechanic. If you don’t, then move on to a better choice.
Know when your oil needs changing. Oil has to be changed often for a car to perform properly. Your car will not last as long as it should when the oil is not regularly changed, so be sure you have some kind of reminder.
Don’t have too many keychains or other items on your key fob. The ignition on your car is not devised to hold all the weight, even when you don’t consider it heavy. Too much weight on your keychain can cause your key to stick.
There is no real benefit to getting repairs done at the dealer. There are quite a few mechanics out there, whether you get your car into one of them or do things at home yourself there are many options. Whoever makes you feel most comfortable is the person who should be doing the car repairs.
It is important to have your oil changed regularly. Oil changes are important so your car can run smoothly. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
You don’t want to diagnose complex auto issues on your own. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. It may be a problem that’s harder to fix than you think. Leave the diagnosing to your auto repair shop. Tell them every detail and let them do the rest.
Doing vehicle repairs yourself can also be rather risky. Ensure that you have help close at hand in case something goes wrong. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. This holds true particularly in the case of the tools needed for changing tires. Keep in mind that the jack must hold the car up securely, particularly if you’re under it. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes.
There are a few shady automotive repair shops who will replace your existing tires with old ones. They will profit off of your ignorance if they can. Mark your tires with some chalks before taking your car to an auto shop. If you do not see the chalk when you return, you have been victimized.
Take multiple pictures of your car before taking it to a new shop. Some disreputable garages will strip your car in order to up their bottom line. It is wise to have proof of your car’s condition, should something unfortunate occur.
If you need to have your car fixed, but you don’t have a lot of cash on hand, think about asking a local vocational school if they have an auto repair class. Students can do car repairs under the guidance of their licensed mechanic/instructor, and you can save a lot money having your car fixed there.
It’s wise to get car issues checked out, even when you think they’re minor. Sometimes, small problems that go unchecked will lead to bigger problems over time.
Don’t let a mechanic tell you that flushing your engine is routine maintenance. This service is expensive, and unless you’ve failed to change the oil on time regularly or something similar, you are not in need of this service.
Do not try do diagnose difficult auto repair problems yourself. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. It may seem like an easy fix, but in modern computerized vehicles, that may not be the case. Let the auto shop diagnose it. Let them know about any sounds you heard or what problems you have been having, but let them be the ones to diagnose the issue.
OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you need something replaced on your car, you should remember this. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. This will lower the chances of someone putting used auto parts on your car.
Only go to a repairman that is certified. Look for a seal of approval or N.I.A. This will tell you that your mechanic really understands what he does, and you are more likely to be satisfied with your service.
Check fluid levels and fill them yourself. This is easy. Routine maintenance can be done by you. Learn all you can, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Unfortunately, some repair shops aren’t honest. They will take off your tires, only to put others on that aren’t as good. They usually do this to make a quick buck from you. Prior to entering, mark your tires with chalk. If you don’t have the chalk on your tires still when you pick the car up, then you know things aren’t right.
Place a limit on how much work can be done to your vehicle without your permission. Do not give your repair shop free reign. Tell them your maximum expenditure and ensure they’ll call you if they’re approaching it.
After a mechanic makes a diagnosis on your vehicle, see if you can’t get a couple of hours to make your decision on getting services. Use this time to call other dealerships and garages to ask for quotes since you can accurately describe the repairs you need. If another place can fix it cheaper, pay the first place their fee for the diagnostic and have your car fixed somewhere else.
Avoid repairs if a mechanic gives you a difficult time about a written estimate. If the work is done poorly, you won’t be able to recover costs because there is no written proof of the contracted work.
Any quote over $200 needs to be provided in writing. With a written estimate, you will have proof should the work prove faulty. It can also help avoid being overcharged if the mechanic has already given you with the written quote.
Ask several questions at the mechanics. Don’t limit your questions to the price of repairs, ask about the details of what the work involves. When will the repairs be done? What work is being done? What is the breakdown cost per part? What other questions do you have? This will make you appear informed and help if this happens later.
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 drop the car off for an assessment, don’t allow them to make repairs without consulting you. Give them a dollar amount and if they find something else wrong with your vehicle you should have them call you before fixing it.
Ask as many questions as you deem necessary when getting your vehicle repaired. If you need to take your car in somewhere, you need to know exactly what will be fixed and what it’ll cost you overall. A reputable garage will be more than happy to provide you with a written estimate.
What sort of sounds is your car making? The noises your car makes can be an indicator that something may be wrong. If you are able to tell the mechanic about the sounds, you may save lots of money through rapid diagnosis of the issue.
Make sure you take your vehicle to a knowledgeable technician. You should ask to be sure the mechanic has the experience with your particular make and model of vehicle. If they lack experience with your car model, take your car somewhere else.
Try to get each and every part itemized when you get your estimate. This will make things easier to read when comparing quotes. The car parts should cost about the same amount, so you should pay more attention to the labor.
Unless you know your stuff, don’t fix your car alone. If you don’t do a repair properly, you may actually end up voiding the warranty that came with the car. Keep in mind that you are taking full responsibility for your vehicle if you fix it yourself.
When washing the car, remove the mats and beat them a few times with the water hose. Bits of dirt get ground into the rubber and can cause a tear over time. Holes aren’t attractive and let dirt have a path to your carpet that’s under it.
It is acceptable to delay small repairs but you need to take your vehicle to a repair shop as soon as possible if there are problems with your steering wheel, your tires, brakes or the electrical system. You may get into a dangerous situation if the necessary parts breaks down.
As you can now see, it’s important that you take care of your vehicle. Learning even the simplest routine maintenance can help save you a bunch of money. Remember these tips when you feel like something’s wrong with your car.
Don’t buy into the theory that you need a tuneup at 100K miles. This is not a good rule of thumb. You should stick to the schedule of maintenance suggested by your car manufacturer. Where you drive affects your car greatly, too.