Unfortunately a “one solution fixes all” does not apply to vehicle repairs. Rather, you must slowly learn the basics so you can take care of your car. An automobile is a costly investment, which is why the thought of fixing it can leave you feeling stressed. Your chances of a good repair can increase with these tips.
Always have a good battery charger in your car. Dead batteries are pretty common and you can help others if you own a battery charger. The charger has special connecting points that you should be aware of when hooking it up to a car.
Always carry a good emergency kit in the trunk of your car. Include a spare tire, a jack, a battery charger and a container full of gas. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.
Make sure that you do not neglect the radiator in your car. You need to allow your car to run for a couple of minutes, shut down the engine and then open up the hood. Never open the radiator while the car is on. Check the amount of fluid in your radiator with your dipstick and remember to mix the coolant with some water.
Make sure you often check the radiator. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. Never open the radiator cap if the engine is running. Look to see what the fluid level is (use a dipstick), and remember that coolant needs to have a bit of water added prior to entering your radiator.
You don’t always need a repair-person for your car troubles. Quite a few automotive issues can be done yourself. If you’re feeling lucky, look online to figure out the problem. If it is a basic issue, attending to the repair yourself could save a considerable amount of money.
Know what your costs will be before handing your keys over to the mechanic. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. Don’t end up surprised by extra fees.
Asking around for recommendations is a great opportunity to locate a mechanic you can trust. Talk to your relatives, friends and co-workers to get some recommendations. You can gain information about prices and level of quality. You’ll get a real feel for the experience and the honesty of the mechanic.
You might not need a mechanic to fix your car problem. Some repairs are easy to make. If you are game, then check online to research the problem. It isn’t all that hard, and you can really save lots of money by repairing your car yourself.
Make sure to have all your car records on hand. These should be kept in the glove compartment of your vehicle for easy access out on the road. Professional mechanics are going to ask for those records. They can diagnose issues quicker.
Make sure you know what is in your auto manual, and mark certain pages for reference. During auto repair visits, your mechanic will probably need to gather some information from you, about your vehicle. You may also find answers to your problems, inside.
When bringing your car to a mechanic, tell them you want OEM parts. This means that they’ve come directly from the manufacturer. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. What is a cheap option now could be an expensive option later.
Each time you get your vehicle repaired, no matter what the reason, be sure you have a record of it. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. Without these records, you may have to pay more money, and it may be harder to find where the problem is coming from.
Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. The mechanic might need to clean out the car before performing repair work, and your personal items could be lost. Remove all items from the trunk too.
Never leave any valuables in your car when it is getting repaired. Some of these items may need to be removed so the mechanic can do his work, and the shop is not responsible if anything is lost. Remove all items from your trunk too.
If your taillight or headlight burns out, you may save a ton repairing them yourself. In some vehicles, this repair is easier than in others. But, if you can do it yourself, you will save money. If you know anyone who is comfortable with cars, ask if they can show you how it’s done.
Make sure your headlights are clean if they don’t look as bright. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. Use a quality glass cleaning product and improve the situation dramatically.
Independent mechanics can be great. If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, and they will usually charge you less for labor. You may save a lot of money by going down this route.
Be on the lookout for clear indications that a mechanic is not the right one for the job. If they avoid your questions, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s best to feel that you trust your repair person, so don’t hesitate to move on.
Wash your car all winter long. The winter damages your car more than any other season. Sand and salt can cause rust and abrasions. After washing your car, dry it thoroughly to prevent ice formation.
Invest in a spare tire and a jack, and keep them in your vehicle. They are included with most new vehicles. You don’t want to end up stranded somewhere and get stuck paying a lot for a tow. It’s far more convenient and less costly to take care of it yourself.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. Always have a buddy to help you. Buy only the highest quality tools that will last and not break under pressure. This is particularly true with tire changing tools. Keep in mind that you need a jack that can easily support the weight of your car. That’s why it’s smart to use a good hydraulic floor jack with approved jack stands.
Be sure that you make a note of your oil change schedule. This will ensure that your car is running at its optimum performance. In the long run, omitting this important step could cost you thousands of dollars, and it could lead your vehicle to an early death.
Warranties can be very important when it comes to fixing expensive parts. Ask the mechanic about the parts’ warranty. Ask how long it lasts, and request a physical copy of the contract.
It’s important that car parts come with warranties. Be sure and ask the mechanic what the warranty is on the parts that they have ordered. Inquire as to how long it is for and also ask for a hard copy of the contract for your review.
Take a couple of hours before saying yes to repairs from a mechanic. This will allow you to call around and see how much other people would charge to fix a problem similar to yours. If a cheaper price is available elsewhere, you can pay for whatever the diagnostics cost and see about getting it fixed at the other place.
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. You will get an excellent rate and your car will be fixed by an instructor and students in training.
After paying a mechanic to replace an old part on your vehicle with a new one, ask him to give you back the one that he removed. If he won’t, he may not have replaced them in the first place. If this happens, you need to challenge the mechanic and look for someone else in the future.
Always bleed your brakes if you have been working on them. Afterwards, pump your brake fluid. Check to make sure there are no leaks that can cause the fluid to escape. You can then test drive your vehicle on an empty road. Start slowly to make sure that the repair is done well before you start to drive faster.
If you get a quote from a mechanic that is over $200, ask for it in writing. If you have written proof, you can easily file complaints if necessary. Mechanics aren’t as likely to charge you for unrequested repairs as well.
If you encounter a serious problem that threatens your safety on a brand new car, contact the manufacturer. This may be a recall situation but the manufacturer needs to be aware of the issue for the recall to occur. Sometimes, you will get the auto repair for free.
Try to gain some knowledge of your car after you purchase it. If you feel you are lacking in this department, think about signing up for a car repair class. Even if you don’t want to take a class, learning about the basics can save money later. This is why it’s a good idea to look for problems and address them before they get serious so your vehicle lasts longer.
If you have a positive experience with an auto repair business, return to them each time you need another repair job on your vehicle. When you have a good mechanic relationship, your repairs will be done properly. By sticking with one mechanic, you may also be eligible for discounts on future work, as well.
When you are washing your car, take the mats outside and hit them once or twice with the hose. Dirt gets trapped in the rubber, which can lead to tearing. Holes don’t look good and allow the dirt to have a clear path to the carpet beneath.
Put your car on jack stands if you’re storing it. Do not use your parking brake and inspect the garage to make sure it is dry and clean.
Keep documentation of all work and maintenance that is performed on your car. Keep the record in you car. This is helpful should any problems arise. This shaves unnecessary time and money spent.
Ask any of your friends or family if they know a good auto-repair service in the local area. Word of mouth is often the way to find the best one. When using a stranger, this is a must.
Don’t try to start working on your vehicle when you’re not sure of how to fix it yourself. If you don’t do a repair properly, you may actually end up voiding the warranty that came with the car. If that happens, you can expect to be saddled with the full cost of any repairs.
You should never put water in your windshield washer compartment. Water can clean your windshield, but since the system requires that specific fluid, you could damage it. Make sure there is plenty of fluid in the compartment. Do not ignore the compartment when it seems like it is empty.
Have you heard the rumor about needing to tune up your vehicle after 100,000 miles? This is basically just a myth with no facts behind it. Just go by the recommendations in your car’s manual. They know what is best for your car. Where you drive affects your car greatly, too.
Wouldn’t you like to have better and more reliable auto repair experiences? Although nobody loves getting their car fixed, you’ll find that the process doesn’t have to be a painful ordeal. By using this information, you can take charge of the auto repairs you need.
Check the amps on your fuses before replacing them. Make sure that the fuse matches the amperage upon replacement. If you need to replace fuses very often, take your car to a mechanic who specializes in electric systems to get it checked.