Whenever you experience car problems, how about trying to fix the problems on your own? These days, people tend to go to mechanics for simple minor repairs. Remember these tips to guide yourself in auto repair. Your self-confidence will grow and you’ll save money in the long term too.
Always have a good battery charger in your car. Dead batteries are a common problem, and you should always have a charger or cables on you at all times. It is also important to understand how to properly connect the charger to the battery.
Only choose an A.S.E. certified mechanic. They have passed tests and have at least two years experience under their hat. This will ensure that you have the cream of the crop working on your vehicle.
Ask for the charge total before giving mechanics your keys. If you are unclear about certain things, clarification is needed before repairs are started. If you do not communicate with your mechanic, you might be surprised with additional fees once you receive your bill.
You need to buy a good battery charger and have it in your vehicle at all times. People commonly experience dead batteries, making battery chargers good for helping stranded drivers. Know where the cables should be connected and how. It is sometimes different for different cars.
Keep a record when your car is fixed or maintained. If further issues develop later, the mechanic may want to see the historical documentation of what has already been done. If you lack such records, you may end up paying more money for diagnostic work.
To keep rust from becoming an issue, wash and wax your car regularly. Cars are all destined to rust, but the process can be slowed by keeping salt and chemicals away from the paint whenever you can. Use a good wax to protect your paint job as much as possible.
Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. The mechanic may find that these things get in the way and they may get misplaced to where they cannot be located later. Everything needs to be taken out of your trunk too.
Every time you have your car fixed, regardless of the reason, you should take note of it. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. Your car problems may be harder to find and you may have higher repair costs without the records.
Make sure your headlights are clean if they don’t look as bright. Sometimes, dirt from the road transfers over to your lights dim them. Clean theses with a good quality glass cleaning agent to get them as clean as possible.
Do not pay an auto mechanic until you have test driven your car to be sure they did their job. A lot of people forget to test drive their vehicle and pay for repairs that did not really fix their problem.
Before bringing your car to a mechanic, attempt to figure out by yourself what’s wrong. You can save a ton of cash via diagnosing the issue yourself, and you could prevent fraud. Some dishonest mechanics may try to exaggerate the problem to get more money out of you.
Keep a spare tire and jack handy at all times. New cars often come with a kit you can use to change a tire. Being stuck with a flat tire is not something anyone hopes for. Paying for someone to help is expensive. You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.
Keep a repair kit in the car at all times. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, add oil and a gallon of water. A lug wrench and a jack are essential. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Choose tools which will last the test of time, especially when they’re required.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. You’re going to need to have some tire changing tools in this kit at the very least. If you don’t have a jack and lug wrench, get one. Your tool kit should contain these items: socket wrenches, ratcheting tools, a wrench for torque and one that is adjustable, and both a Phillips and a flat head screwdriver as well. Don’t buy poor-quality tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Never go with the first estimate you receive. Do not pay extra money for a service that can be performed at a fraction of the cost. Look around for reputable shops that specialize in your car’s make. These shops are more likely to understand how to perform the repairs your car needs.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. This process is easier in specific vehicles and harder in others; however, doing this yourself is much more affordable than visiting a mechanic. See if anyone you know can give you a lesson.
Think about finding a mechanic who does repairs in his or her own garage. These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. This can save you a lot of money and help out someone who may need it, instead of giving it to a big shop.
Know when your oil needs changing. This will ensure that your car is running at its optimum performance. If you do not have your oil changed on a regular basis, you are risking serious damage to your engine. Try to remind yourself every 3,000 miles.
See if any of your friends or family members have had a positive experience at a particular auto shop. With the benefit of advice from acquaintances and family members, you’ll be better informed about the different options open to you. Still do your homework on whoever they mention. At the minimum, take a look online to see what others are saying about the shop as well.
Whenever you put gas in your vehicle, take a minute to measure your tire pressure. Check the tires to ensure nothing has become lodged within them. If you notice a problem, seek repairs immediately. It is very dangerous driving on bad tires.
Always keep a clear and easy path to your key on the keychain. It is advised that you remove any and all fluffy keychains from the ring. The ignition in your car can’t withstand too much extra weight, even if that weight doesn’t seem excessive to you. If the key starts to stick, its time to replace the tumblers and say goodbye to your troll buddy!
If you need collision repair, it is smart to take photos before you give your car to the body shop. A lot of shops aren’t going to strip things out of your vehicle, but some will if they are trying to make more money. Because of this, it is advisable to get proof of what you vehicle looked like before it goes to the shop, just in case.
Whenever you fill up on gas, make sure you check the pressure of your tires. Closely inspect your tires to ensure nothing is wrong with them. If you see something wrong, make sure to fix the problem immediately. Faulty tires can cause major accidents so avoid this situation at all costs.
Some shops replace your tired with even older ones. They do this to make money off of those who do not know enough to check. Before you go in, place some chalk on your tires to mark them up. This can help you see if your tires have been properly rotated or switched out for older tires.
Make sure that you do not get pressured into extra repairs by body shops. This is a money making tactic that allows them to make money off of people that are not wise enough to look into things. Prior to taking your car to the garage, use chalk to mark your tires. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Using a dealer’s mechanics can be expensive, but this is often your best option. Dealer technicians are specialized in your car’s model. They are trained to quickly diagnose problems commonly found in the type of car you own. There are many training programs that they have to pass to become certified.
There are no auto parts that will work forever, so don’t believe any claims to the contrary. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money. A good example of this is transmission fluid that has a “lifetime guarantee”. This does not mean you never have to change your fluids. They should still be changed at least every 80,000 miles.
Any quote over $200 needs to be provided in writing. This can help you file a complaint if necessary. An unscrupulous mechanic is less likely to alter your estimate after the fact, when you each have an original copy.
Many times people take their vehicle in to be repaired, and when they return to pick it up they are told about additional issues. Unscrupulous dealers do this to make you feel as though your car may be dangerous and they are being a friend by offering you a deal. Tell them you want to take a few hours to make a decision and then call around for quotes from other shops.
Avoid repairs if a mechanic gives you a difficult time about a written estimate. 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.
If you have a major issue that threatens safety in a new car, talk to the manufacturer. It’s possible there’s been a recall on that car, and you might not be the only one having the problem. The manufacturer may fix the problem at no cost to you.
If you plan to not use your car for a long time, put it up on jacks and fill the gas tank. This will avoid repair costs when you put the car back in use. Store it in a dry area so it doesn’t rust, and don’t set the parking brake.
Dealer mechanics are costly, but often the right way to go. These mechanics are well-versed in repairing your make of vehicle. They have been trained on specific repairs for your car. They are also trained regularly.
Consult with your friends and family about recommending a trustworthy mechanic. Word of mouth is often the way to find the best one. It’s better than just asking around to see if anyone can help you that hasn’t been proven to be reliable.
You should always get back the old part a mechanic has removed after a new part has been installed. If the mechanic says no, it’s possible that there was no replacement done. If this happens, look for another mechanic.
When you’re having serious auto work done and get a quote from a particular mechanic, ask him to fully itemize his quote, breaking down costs for labor and parts separately. This will allow you to easily determine which of two different quotes is the best one. It’s likely that the actual parts will not vary greatly in price, but the labor might.
Fixing auto repairs on your own might seem overwhelming at first. But the basics of car repair are not that hard, and beyond that you just need a good idea of how to find a good mechanic. Your car will be back to normal if you use the advice you just learned.
Some time needs to be spent figuring out how your car runs. If you educate yourself about auto repairs and get to know your vehicle, you will not have to go to a mechanic’s every time there is a minor issue with your car. You’ll save a great deal of money by doing routine maintenance yourself.