If you’re reading this, you probably are having car issues right now. This is why this article is here, to help you. Most people aren’t car people, so it is important that they know what to do in the event of a car problem. Read on and pick up some great auto repair advice that may just be able to save you time and money.
If you have to take a vehicle in for repairs, be sure you ask a few questions about the vehicle. These questions should be geared around the problems that you faced and what actions you can take so that they will not happen again. Prevention is a great way to save lots of money.
As the mechanic whether they’ve worked on your make and model before. If the answer is yes, that’s a very good thing.
Wash your car regularly to prevent rust from becoming a problem. Rust is an inevitability, but you can stave it off for a good while. Utilize quality waxes to keep the paint looking new.
Keep track of all the repairs and maintenance you do on your vehicle. Keep these records in the glove compartment in the event that you need to make an emergency stop at your mechanic’s shop. The auto mechanic can look at the records. This will help to diagnose any problems.
Referrals will lead you to a great mechanic. Ask co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. This lets you ask them about their experiences with that mechanic, how much it cost, and if they were satisfied. You can use their experiences to determine whether a mechanic is honest or not.
Ask your mechanic to use OEM parts. These parts are directly from the manufacturer of your vehicle. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. What may seem like a deal now can cost twice as much as buying OEM in the first place.
Before taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop, check out their online reviews. 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. You can then use that information to pick a shop that you can feel comfortable giving your money to.
Do not leave any items in your vehicle if you are taking it to be repaired. If your belongings are in the way of your mechanic’s repairs, they may be moved to the side, possibly even lost. Also, be sure to remove everything from the trunk.
Make sure you replace old parts with OEM parts. These parts are the genuine article, produced by your car’s original manufacturer. While generic parts may be cheaper, you’ll never know how good the quality is. Although you save money in the short term with generic parts, its not really a deal if they have to be replaced again in a few years.
You should have basic tools in your car at all times. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. Get a lug wrench and jack if you do not have one yet. You should have a Phillips and flat head screwdriver and several types of wrenches. Cheap tools are not worth your money. Invest in high-quality tools that you will own forever.
Before you bring your car to a repair shop, try to determine what is wrong with your car. You can save time and money if the problem is correctly diagnosed, and finding a reliable mechanic will also be easier. You probably know that some mechanics will deceive you about your car repairs to charge you more.
When you need a major repair done, get numerous estimates. Although most auto shops are reliable, you don’t want to pay too much. Look around for reputable shops that specialize in your car’s make. Your car is more likely to be repaired properly at these shops.
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. Make sure you have a wrench that can loosen the lug nuts on your tires. You should also include a screwdriver set, a ratchet set, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. You don’t want to settle for buying cheap tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Find out about all costs before hiring a mechanic. Sometimes it’s easy to spot the rates on the wall, but read them carefully. Make sure that you know exactly how you are going to be billed. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Some minor repairs might be considered as an all day job by some manufacturers.
Consider finding someone who repairs cars in their own garage. If they’re experienced then they probably can do quality work and they don’t charge a lot either. This could easily save you hundreds of dollars and help someone out by giving your business to them instead of a big shop.
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 anything wrong with them, get the problem fixed right away. You should not risk driving with less-than-perfect tires.
Ask people you know about experiences they have had with repairing their cars. With the benefit of advice from acquaintances and family members, you’ll be better informed about the different options open to you. It is still important to do your homework. Read online reviews, and check with the Better Business Bureau as well.
Many corrupt shops will change out your tires and put in older ones. They make money from the premise that you won’t notice. 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.
Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. These symbols light up to warn you of a problem. Don’t ignore any dashboard lights that come on, as the problem may grow worse if it’s ignored.
There is nothing routine about flushing your engine. This is an expensive service that is unnecessary unless your car has been neglected, such as not receiving regular oil changes.
Always keep in mind that attempting auto repair on your own has its share of hazards. Always have a buddy nearby that can assist you if there is an emergency. Invest in high quality tools that won’t break on you. This is especially true of your tire changing equipment. If you are getting underneath your car to do some work, you want to be very certain that your jack is holding that car up properly. A good investment is to purchase a hydraulic floor jack and use jack stands after elevating the car.
Don’t buy any parts that come with a promise of lasting a lifetime. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money. Some vehicles come with a “lifetime” fluid for your transmission. It is true that this fluid lasts much longer than standard transmission fluid, but you will still need to change it out at around 80,000 miles.
Know about car parts prior to visiting a mechanic. Parts can be new, rebuilt or reconditioned, or salvaged. New parts are just that: new. Refurbished or rebuilt parts means that these parts have been restored. “Salvage” means that the parts are used and lack alteration.
The acronym OM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. Remember this if you need to have parts replaced. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. An unscrupulous mechanic may think better of trying to pass used parts off onto you.
Not that many people take time to read their car’s owner’s manual. Go over this manual and mark the important pages that deal with information on maintaining your vehicle. The manual is full of key facts about your car and how to perform minor repair work.
If you want to be sure to have an advocate on your side when you need your car serviced, consider joining the American Automobile Association or AAA. From getting a tow truck fast to dealing effectively with a garage, AAA can provide drivers with tons of assistance. In fact, you’ll find that many times, AAA has set discounts to lower your out of pocket expenses.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is a label you will find on parts issues or approved by manufacturers. Remember this term. If you request OEM parts, the mechanic will see that you are knowledgeable. This will lower the chances of someone putting used auto parts on your car.
You should always get back the old part a mechanic has removed after a new part has been installed. If he cannot provide this, he may not have done anything with your car. You should be suspicious if this happens.
Let your mechanic know that you do not want to spend more than a certain amount on unauthorized repairs. If you drop the car off for an assessment, don’t allow them to make repairs without consulting you. Set a specific amount that they can’t go over without contacting you by phone first.
If a mechanic hesitates about giving you a written estimate, do not use him. 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 an auto body shop does good work for you, then you need to return there every time. Developing a camaraderie will ensure that the mechanic does his best work. You might also receive a loyalty discount.
If you have to put your vehicle in storage, place it on some jack stands and fill the gas tank. Do not set the parking brake, and be sure that your car’s storage environment is dry and not prone dampness that encourages rust formation.
When your car is in the shop for repairs, ask for the old parts to be returned to you. This will allow you to know whether or not they really repaired what they said they did. A lot of repairs don’t need this to be done, like when the exhaust system gets repaired. It’s easy to tell if a new or good exhaust system has been installed.
Don’t ever fill your windshield washer with water. The washer system works with a certain type of fluid, and water can easily damage the washer. Examine the reservoir often and add more fluid when necessary. Just don’t use water to fill it.
Ask to get your old parts when they’re replaced. This is a good way to ensure the repairs have indeed been performed. This is unnecessary for certain repairs, such as the replacement of an exhaust system. You can easily see whether a new exhaust system is installed.
Devote some time to learn all about your vehicle and how it runs. If you don’t always want to be reliant on a mechanic, then you should know a few basics about your car. You can save some money after all is said an done if you’re not paying a lot to fix small things all the time.
Get to know your car. You don’t need to count on just a mechanic when you have a problem. This can only happen, however, if you take some time out to study your automobile. This saves tons of money over time.
Keep good records of all of your previous repairs. Try to keep this record in a good place in your car. This can help the mechanic figure out any issues. That helps reduce the time it takes to diagnose the issue.
Do not get any major repairs done to your vehicle before getting a second professional opinion. You may actually get an immediate discount from your current mechanic, but this is actually a red flag. If he thinks he’s offering a reasonable price, he wouldn’t drop it to try to convince you.
Once you notice your check engine light flashing, take your vehicle in right away. You may not see anything wrong with the vehicle, but you should have an expert look at it. If you notice nothing is wrong with the your automobile, you might just need to adjust your dashboard computer.
Reading this article should have taught you more about fixing your car. While you aren’t an expert yet, you’re well on your way. Also, if you have trouble with bigger problems later, you can find someone else that can help you fix them.
Make sure when you change fuses to replace the old fuse with one of the same amperage. Make sure that the fuse matches the amperage upon replacement. If you find yourself constantly replacing your fuses, then you should have your car checked by a mechanic whose specialty is in electric systems.