When your car breaks down, it is difficult to know what to do. If you lack a decent amount of knowledge about auto repair, it is time to gain a bit of education on the topic. This article will give you the basics on how to fix a car yourself as well as what you need to know about bringing it to a shop.
Check out your mechanic to see if he is A.S.E. certified before allowing him to do any work on your vehicle. Being A.S.E. certified ensures you that your mechanic has proper training and experience. This will let you know that the best possible person is working on your automobile.
Invest in a quality battery charger and always keep it in your car. Dead batteries are a common problem for many drivers. Additionally, having a charger with you will allow you to aid other motorists in similar need. Take a few minutes to learn how to use it properly before you get in a situation where you need to use it.
Have a battery charger in your car at all times. People commonly experience dead batteries, making battery chargers good for helping stranded drivers. Take a few minutes to learn how to use it properly before you get in a situation where you need to use it.
A breakdown can happen at any time, so it is important to have an emergency kit somewhere in your car. This kit should have the tools to change your tires in the case of an accident. Blankets may be added, some batteries and a flashlight for if you have a trouble with your car at night.
As the mechanic whether they’ve worked on your make and model before. If they say that they have, this should be a good indicator that they have some idea of what needs to be done to get your car back into shape.
Wash your car regularly to prevent rust from becoming a problem. Although all cars rust at some point in time, it is possible to delay this from occurring by washing off salt and chemicals immediately. Make sure you regularly wax your car so that you protect the paint.
Know your auto manual very well, or at least dog ear important pages. This will help you speak intelligently to a technician about your car when it is time to take it in. Sometimes you may find things that you can easily fix yourself and do not require a trip to the dealership.
Whenever your car undergoes repairs, make sure you have the written record of what was done. If you have problems with your vehicle later on, you will find it helpful to have some records for the next technician to look at. Without them, you may end up paying for more diagnostic tests, and it will be more difficult to learn where the issue is stemming from.
Ask for OEM parts. These are original manufacturer parts. While they often cost a little more, they typically work better for longer periods of time. It may cost you more in the end to use generic parts even though you save money now.
Be wary of auto technicians who perform unneeded repairs on your vehicle. Work should never be performed without your permission, but a good mechanic may point out upcoming repairs that are necessary. Never take your vehicle to a mechanic that preforms unnecessary repairs.
Before dropping your car off for repairs, remove any valuables. 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. Empty both the trunk and glove compartment.
Ask your mechanic if he’s worked on a vehicle similar to yours. Though there are lots of universal concepts, a large SUV requires different knowledge than a compact car does. If you don’t know, pay extra to get the dealer to repair it.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. It’s easier to do in some cars, but it’s more cost effective than hiring a mechanic. Ask a friend if they can show you how it should be done.
Be sure to change your oil often enough. It is essential to have your oil changed so that your engine runs properly and and works at its peak performance. Not getting an oil change will only shorten the life of your vehicle, so make sure that you set some type of reminder.
Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. They’re there to assist you, so take advantage of them. If you ignore them for a long time then you’ll just have an even worse problem later on.
It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. Believe it or not, the winter months are tough on your vehicle. Sand and salt can cause rust and abrasions. Be sure to dry your car prior to driving your car so icing does not occur.
Make sure that you remind yourself of how often your oil needs to be changed. If you want your car to run the way it should, its oil needs to be changed regularly. If you don’t get an oil change then your vehicle’s life could be shorter so you have to be sure to remind yourself.
Take pictures of your car before dropping it off at the mechanic to ensure that it doesn’t not receive damage while in the shop, Some disreputable garages will strip your car in order to up their bottom line. It is in your best interest to have documentation of your vehicle’s condition, just in case.
It may be a good idea to fully photograph your car internally and externally prior to taking it in for repairs. Though the majority of such shops are trustworthy, some shops strip vehicles for profit. Keep track of serial numbers on parts, just in case.
Take a second to read the manual and learn about the different components within your vehicle before visiting a mechanic. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. New parts are just that: new. Refurbished parts are ones that have been repaired. However, salvage is simply another word for a used part.
You need to learn more about different car parts before taking your vehicle to a repair shop. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage 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” means that the parts are used and lack alteration.
Don’t try to diagnose and fix complex automotive issues. Be aware that you aren’t a car mechanic! What seems like something small may actually be quite complicated, particularly in modern cars. Let the mechanic diagnose the problem. Tell them what you’ve observed, and then let them do their job.
Keep an eye open for a shop that takes off your good tires and puts older ones on. They do this to gain money from your lack of knowledge. Mark your tires so that you can check them later. If the marks are gone when you get your vehicle back, you have probably been swindled.
When having repairs on your car, it is important to keep warranties in mind, especially when purchasing costly components. Ask the mechanic about your warranty in regards to parts they’re ordering for your car. Inquire as to how long it is for and also ask for a hard copy of the contract for your review.
Some vocational schools offer cheap repairs to those on a budget. You will get an excellent rate and your car will be fixed by an instructor and students in training.
Have you read over your owner’s manual? The truth is that very few car owners actually do this. It is wise to at least give this manual a cursory look so you can quickly locate useful information. This will allow you to maintain and perform minor repairs on your vehicle.
Save the receipts from all your car repairs in a single file. You can sort them chronologically or by service repair type. This ensures you have the information for your mechanic, insurance or a buyer, if necessary. It only takes a few minutes to do, and the record can be a valuable tool.
Have you heard of the term OEM? Well, OEM is a term used to describe car components that come from the original manufacturer. Remember this if you need to have parts replaced. You will seem like you know what you are talking about if you tell a mechanic you only want OEM parts. This will allow you to have less of a chance at getting used parts from someone.
When visiting the auto shop, have a limit on the cost of your auto repairs without your permission. Whenever you visit a shop, you should never allow the mechanics to perform very costly repairs on their own. Have a limit and stick to it.
Serious and potentially dangerous issues with a new car should be brought to the attention of the manufacturer There might be a recall issued for the vehicle or the manufacturer will consider issuing a recall if you are not the only person who complains. As a general rule, they will take care of the car repairs.
Never get any work done if the mechanic is giving you a hard time about providing a written estimate. You should get a written estimate so that you have proof of what he promised to do.
Consistency is the key to car maintenance. If you’re lucky enough to have a shop you trust, use them regularly. Not all shops will give your car the same diagnosis for it’s problems. Sometimes you might be charged more for the repairs, and this isn’t good.
Ask your mechanic a lot of questions. Go beyond price to truly understanding the work he plans to do. Is there an estimate available for the amount of time that will be involved? Ask questions about the work being performed and why it is needed. What is the breakdown cost per part? You can ask questions that arise. This will let the mechanic know that you are well informed, and if the problem comes up at another time, you might be able to fix it.
Learn to do some of the easy auto repair tasks on your own to save a trip to the shop. It’s a myth that only professional mechanics can perform routine maintenance on a car. Understand the steps and then get to work.
Try asking your mechanic to hand over any parts that get replaced when you’re next having work done on your car. This will prove that the repairs were actually done. This is unnecessary for certain repairs, such as the replacement of an exhaust system. It’s easy to tell if a new or good exhaust system has been installed.
No one wants their car to stop working. If you aren’t knowledgeable on auto repair, then you may worry about who you should turn to in order to have your car repaired properly. This article has, hopefully, helped you better prepare for those future car repair issues.
Choose between having your car fixed by a dealership or an independent repair shop. Dealerships tend to cost more, however they have specially trained technicians that are familiar with your model of car. While an independent may charge a little less, you don’t always know whether they are trustworthy.