You probably think of your vehicle as one of the best things in your life because you need it to to go places. Maybe you don’t know much about cars and want to learn. This article can help you learn more, even enable you to do some maintenance tasks yourself.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. Your kit should include jumper cables, tire changing tools and maybe some extra gas. Also pack a few blankets, some batteries, and a good flashlight.
Don’t sign anything until you know the total cost of repairs. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises when you get your bill.
Know what your costs will be before handing your keys over to the mechanic. If you aren’t sure about anything, ask for clarification. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.
To keep rust from becoming an issue, wash and wax your car regularly. Rust will happen, but you can slow things down by keeping the car clean. Wax is also important.
Whenever you have your vehicle repaired, ensure you maintain an adequate record, regardless of the reason why you are having repairs. If the car has other issues later, it can help the tech see its past records. Without records, you might have to pay higher costs due to taking longer to find the problem.
Get OEM components. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. While generics are much cheaper, they are not held to the same quality standards. A cheap, generic part is less of a bargain if it only lasts half as long as an OEM part would.
Before paying for repairs done on your car, test drive it to make sure it runs well. If you don’t do this, it’s possible that the problem isn’t even fixed.
A spare tire and a jack are essential items to keep in your trunk. Most new cars come with them. The cost of a tow for a flat isn’t worth it! You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.
Watch out for mechanics who perform unnecessary repairs on your car. Mechanics may make recommendations, but they should never make repairs without your authorization. If a mechanic does unnecessary repairs, find someone else who is more trustworthy.
Keep up with your wiper blades. Replace them when they’re not clearing the windshield well. You need to replace the wipers on your car about every year or even more often if there is a lot of rain where you live.
Remember that getting OEM parts is important. These parts are the genuine article, produced by your car’s original manufacturer. Generic parts may be cheaper, but the quality may not be the same as OEM parts. It may cost you more in the end to use generic parts even though you save money now.
Know what all the lights stand for on your dashboard and be aware of when they go off. Your dashboard lights warn you of potential problems. Ignoring those for a long time can worsen issues later.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your trunk. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, add oil and a gallon of water. A car jack and a lug wrench are essential tools to have. You may ask want to get a variety of screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches and the like. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Be sure that you make a note of your oil change schedule. You should regularly get the oil changed to make sure your vehicle runs smoothly. Not getting an oil change will only shorten the life of your vehicle, so make sure that you set some type of reminder.
Wiper blades are a very important component to your car. If you notice your windshield wipers are not working properly, get new ones. You should replace them yearly, but you may need to do it twice a year if you are located in a rainy area.
Try not to do many repairs by yourself on your car. Make sure there is somebody nearby to assist if things go wrong. Buy some good quality tools that will last. In particular, only use the best equipment for changing tires. Keep in mind that you need a jack that can easily support the weight of your car. This is why it is wise for you to use quality hydraulic floor jacks and jack stands.
Do your friends or family have any recommendations for good repairers? Your loved ones may give you some recommendations to simplify your search. Still, you should do some research on the shops they recommend. Checking out online customer reviews for a given garage is a must, and it doesn’t take long at all.
When you fill your car with gas, check tire pressure. Check the tires to ensure nothing has become lodged within them. If you see anything wrong with them, get the problem fixed right away. Don’t drive with bad tires on your car.
Learn to recognize the different warning lights on your dashboard. Paying attention to these warnings is always in your best interest. If you ignore them, the problem will only become worse than it is now.
Take pictures of your entire vehicle before taking it to the shop to get repaired. Though most shops won’t strip a car, others do it to make more money. You need to be able to document the original damages done to your vehicle in case your mechanic fails to fix them or makes things worse.
It is important to have your oil changed regularly. Look at your car’s manual to see when the manufacturer recommends oil changes. 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.
Do not try do diagnose difficult auto repair problems yourself. Bear in mind that you are not trained as a mechanic. It could seem simple, but it may be a complex issue. This is particularly true in new computerized vehicles. Let the professionals diagnose your problem. Tell them every detail and let them do the rest.
Before you take your car to the body shop, take photographs of your car from all sides. Sometimes shady mechanics supplement their income by stripping a car of its more expensive parts. Therefore, documenting your vehicle can help you identify stolen items in case this were to happen to you.
If you’re not able to get your vehicle fixed because you’re tight on funds, see if you can get in contact with someone at a vocational school. You can save a lot of money by allowing students to make repairs to your car, but do not worry because these students will be supervised by a licensed mechanic.
Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. They can make money this way. Before going in, mark up your tires with chalk. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Few people take the time to go over the manual that comes with their vehicle. You should review this manual and learn how to use it so you can locate useful information quickly. Your manual will tell you what needs to be known when it comes to keeping your vehicle maintained so you can do repairs if you have to.
If you’re having trouble coming up with money and need auto repair, call a vocational school to see if they offer this service. You will pay a very low rate to have students fix your car while being supervised by a licensed mechanic.
One of the trickiest ways that shady mechanics rip customers off is by adding repairs that weren’t agreed to in the beginning. This helps them give you the impression that you are getting a great deal. Tell the mechanic that you will need to think about it, then shop around for a better price.
Don’t fall prey to believing someone who tells you there is a lifetime guarantee for auto parts. This is only a sales tactic that allows them to charge more. As an example, some vehicles come with transmission fluid marked as “lifetime”. While this won’t have to be changed often, you will still have to change the fluid every 80,000 miles.
When your mechanic identifies the problem, ask him to give you a few hours to think about the repairs before you have him fix it. Call other shops to see how much repairs would be before getting work from the first mechanic. If the price quoted is excessive, pay for the diagnosis and leave.
Few people even open their car’s instruction manual. To better know your car, you should look over this manual. After reading this manual, you can perform a lot of repairs yourself.
After paying to replace old parts, make sure the mechanic gives you the old ones that were removed. If they refuse, this could mean that they didn’t replace anything. You should be suspicious if this happens.
Bleed your brakes after there has been work on them. Make sure it is done before you take it on a test drive. After bleeding your breaks, make sure that you pump your brake fluid. Test for leaks to be sure the fluid won’t run out. Having done all this, you are ready to start your test drive on a road with minimal traffic. Go slow to make sure the repair is holding before you speed up.
Establish a set amount that you are willing and able to pay for repairs. Anything above that amount should require your explicit approval. Don’t simply allow the shop to make any repairs as they see fit. A specific amount should not be exceeded without contacting you first.
If you’re experiencing a major problem with your brand new car, call the manufacturer immediately. Manufacturers issue recalls for some vehicles that have recurring issues and you can get your manufacturer to consider recalling the vehicle if other people run into the same problem. Manufacturers will often fix the car in these cases.
You are completely capable of changing your oil, checking your fluids and simple maintenance tasks such as these. It’s only a myth that it takes a professional to get a maintenance job done. Learn about the process and then dive in!
Do not add water to the car’s windshield washer reservoir. Even though water can clean the windshield, the windshield washer system is designed to receive washer fluid and using some water could damage it. Examine the reservoir often and add more fluid when necessary. Keep a bottle in your car. The trunk is good place to keep a bottle.
Sometimes the best choice is to use mechanics at a car dealer. These mechanics are well-versed in repairing your make of vehicle. They know what’s wrong and can fix it fast. They are also trained regularly.
Whenever you are getting an quote for service on your car, make sure that labor and parts are itemized. That lets you compare more easily with other quotes. Make sure that the costs are the same and if they are not, choose the cheaper mechanic.
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. Never let the repairs go ahead without your approval. Inform them that they must contact you for approval before proceeding with any repairs over the stated dollar amount.
As this article said to you before, you really must be sure to take care of your vehicle. Learning simple maintenance techniques will help you save money. Use these tips for the next time your vehicle starts acting weird or you start worrying about it.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your mechanic. Go beyond price to truly understanding the work he plans to do. How long will the job take? What type of work is being performed? What is the cost of parts? Ask away. You have a right to know. The knowledge you gain from your questions can benefit you should the problem arise again in the future.