Many people fear the thought of getting repairs made to their cars. Auto repairs do not need to be a headache, if you understand a little about them. The following article will give you some great auto repair tips to get you back in your car and on the road faster.
When taking your vehicle to a shop, ask any questions you may have about it. What will they do to fix it? What is the problem? An ounce of prevention can save you a lot of money over time.
Ensure your car has an emergency kit. It should have tire changing tools, a battery charger and tools to top up your gas tank. Consider having blankets, batteries and a flashlight for unexpected nighttime break downs.
Inquire as to whether the mechanic has had previous experience working on your specific vehicle model before. If the answer is yes, that’s a very good thing.
Do not hire a mechanic until you are sure they have experience with this particular make and model. If they have, there is a good chance they will be able to repair your car.
To keep rust from becoming an issue, wash and wax your car regularly. All cars will rust up eventually, but you may delay it considerably by ensuring all chemicals and salts are washed off quickly. Utilize quality waxes to keep the paint looking new.
The best way to find a good auto mechanic is getting referrals. Get recommendations from family and friends. This will let you figure out what kind of price you’re dealing with and if you’ll be satisfied with the work that is done. 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. The auto repair shop people will ask you specific information about your car. Also, reading the manual may help you realize that the repair you need, can be done easily by you.
Watch out for mechanics who perform unnecessary repairs on your car. A mechanic that’s good will tell you whether or not a pert is beginning to wear out, but they’re not going to replace things without your permission first. If a mechanic did an unnecessary repair on your car, don’t take it there again.
A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. It is a good idea to leave these in the glove compartment because you never know when your car has to go to the shop suddenly. The auto mechanic will need to refer to these records. This will help to diagnose any problems.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. Generic parts may be cheaper, but the quality may not be the same as OEM parts. What is a cheap option now could be an expensive option later.
Check out reviews about body shops online. 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. The knowledge can be very helpful when it comes time to make a final decision on which place to go to with your car.
Learn about your car so you can determine the problem in advance and save money. You will not be duped, and you can save tons of money when you find out the problem yourself. Some mechanics are dishonest and will say the problem is more serious than it actually is.
Once an auto shop has made repairs to your car, test drive it to ensure they did a good job prior to paying them. A lot of people forget to test drive their vehicle and pay for repairs that did not really fix their problem.
You should have a do-it-yourself repair kit in your car at all times. For instance, if anything dealing with tire changes came with the car, have this in your car. If you don’t have a jack and lug wrench, get one. You need both types of screw drivers, a ratchet set, torque wrench, and socket wrenches. Don’t waste your money by purchasing cheap tools. Get good, sturdy tools that won’t break when you need them the most.
Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. The mechanic might have to remove certain items, and they won’t be liable if it goes missing. Remove all items from the trunk too.
If your taillights or headlights burn out, you will save a ton of money. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it. Speak with people that you’re familiar with if you know they’re good at repairs.
Don’t forget about wiper blades. If you see that the wipers aren’t cleaning effectively, a new pair is in your future. You should replace wiper blades at least once a year or more often if you live in an area where rain is commonplace or if you notice your wiper blades are worn out.
Look at flashing lights on your dashboard and learn what each one signifies. They are meant to help; use them to your advantage. If you ignore them, the problem can get worse.
Don’t put off washing your vehicle during the winter time. While you may not see the need, winter is by far the harshest season for cars. All that salt and sand is a sure recipe for abrasion and rust. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
You do not necessarily have to go through your dealership if repairs are needed. Good mechanics can be found elsewhere, not only at the dealer’s shop. If you find one you like, you should hire him.
Make sure you become knowledgeable on standard car-part classifications before visiting a mechanic. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage. “New” means that they just arrived from the manufacturer, meeting the standards set out by that company. Parts that are rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured have been restored to good condition. If a used part is designated as “salvage,” it has not been reconditioned.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. Work with someone nearby if you do plan to work on your car. If you buy good quality tools, they will last a long time. You’ll especially need good equipment for changing tires. The jack has to hold the car up without any trouble while you are working on the underside of the car. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes.
If your car has been having a small problem that you think is minor, it may be a good idea to have it checked out anyway. Sometimes, the smallest issue can escalate to a major problem if not attended to in a timely manner.
You don’t want to diagnose complex auto issues on your own. Cars are complex and it takes expertise to fix them. Do not assume an issue can be fixed easily, unless you have previous experience with this type of issue. Leave the diagnosing to your auto repair shop. Just tell them the symptoms you are experiencing, including noises or the “feel” of the car, but then let them do their job.
When auto repair issues are complicated, don’t diagnose them yourself. Don’t forget that you are not a repair wizard. It may be a problem that’s harder to fix than you think. Let the professionals do the diagnosing. Allow them to know whatever is going on with your vehicle and what kinds of noises you’ve heard and let them make the decision as to what can be done.
It is important to get a warranty on your car when it gets repaired. This is even more important if the parts put in are pricy. Ask the mechanic about warranties on these parts. Ask about warranty length and and acquire a printed version for your reference.
A warranty is one of the most important things you’ll need for car repairs. You should ask your mechanic about the warranty on the parts they order for you. Figure out what the warranty covers and if you can get a copy of it so that you can look over it.
Lots of shady shops are willing to take tires and put cheap ones on instead. This lets them profit from your loss. Take a piece of chalk and mark the tires prior to dropping off your vehicle. This can help you see if your tires have been properly rotated or switched out for older tires.
Do not allow anyone to sell you any auto parts that they claim will last a lifetime. Often, that’s their way of getting more money out of you. For example, some cars come with “lifetime” transmission fluid. 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.
Consistency counts for something in auto repair. If you have a mechanic that you trust, then stick with them. Different shops could end up telling you something totally unrelated to your problem is wrong. Also, you will see that different shops will charge different rates.
Always bleed the brakes after working on them or preceding a test drive. After bleeding your breaks, make sure that you pump your brake fluid. Check to make sure there are no leaks that can cause the fluid to escape. Then test drive the car on a road that has minimal traffic. Begin slowly and gradually pick up speed to determine if the issue is fixed.
Once a mechanic diagnoses your car, ask if you can take some time to consider whether or not you want to hire them. Speak with other dealerships to get different estimates on the job. If you get a better quote elsewhere, just pay the mechanic for their time and go with the better offer.
Mechanics that estimate over $200 for service should be asked for a written statement. Having written proof can help you in the future. A written quote can also help keep you from any additional charges.
If a mechanic gives you a quote that exceeds two hundred dollars, ask for a written estimate. Should a problem occur, it will be easier to make a complaint when you have written proof. Another advantage to the estimate is that you can ensure the mechanic will focus only on the repairs needed and not extras.
Establish a set amount that you are willing and able to pay for repairs. Anything above that amount should require your explicit approval. When dropping off you car for needed repairs, do not give the shop carte blanche for these repairs. Give them a dollar amount and if they find something else wrong with your vehicle you should have them call you before fixing it.
Pay attention to any sounds your car is making. Some noises can be caused by mechanical issues or parts that need to be maintained. Accurately describing the sound you hear to your mechanic can save you money when it comes to diagnosing the problem.
If a mechanic will not give you an estimate in writing, look elsewhere. If the work is done poorly, you won’t be able to recover costs because there is no written proof of the contracted work.
There isn’t any question that having a broken down car is among the most frustrating things around. However, if you’re able to keep just a little bit of information in mind and know what you’re doing, worrying will be the least of your problems. Have the tips above handy so you can be prepared for whatever problems may occur.
The first hurdle in getting your car fixed is finding a mechanic. If your gut tells you not to trust a particular mechanic, or they seem untrustworthy, move on. Be wary of mechanics that won’t answer your questions or make direct eye contact with you. An unreliable mechanic might charge you for unnecessary repairs or more labor time than needed.