If your car needs repairs, you might be confused on how to go about getting them done. If you’re not terribly into repairing vehicles, you probably should learn a little bit about it. Luckily, you can learn a great deal of information from the article below.
Only choose an A.S.E. certified mechanic. If a mechanic has this certification, then they have taken a test and have a minimum of 2 years experience. This ensures that you have a capable person working on your car.
Ask mechanics if they have worked on your particular make and model of car before contracting with them. If they are able to say they’ve done work on a vehicle similar to yours, then they’re probably aware of what kind of work is necessary to fix yours.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. It should have tire changing tools, a battery charger and tools to top up your gas tank. 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 specifically request OEM parts. This means that they’ve come directly from the manufacturer. Generic are cheaper, but also less reliable. You may save in the short term, but additional failures could end up costing you big time.
See if the prospective mechanic has experience with your type of car. A mechanic who has experience with the make and model you are driving will be able to diagnose issues quickly.
Watch out for obvious warning signs that a repair person is not up to snuff. If you’re receiving double-talk when you ask them a question, they are probably not the mechanic for you. You want to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so go elsewhere.
Invest in a spare tire and a jack, and keep them in your vehicle. A lot of newer vehicles are already equipped with these things. You never want to be without them, as you could end up having to pay for an expensive tow. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.
Assemble a DIY auto repair tool kit to keep in the trunk of your car. You need basic tools like a tire changing kit, and you also need other equipment. You should also have a lug wrench and a jack. Also, you need Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, a ratchet set, and various types of wrenches. Never skimp when buying tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. You need to have tools to change a tire, which have come along with your car. If the necessary lug wrench and jack are missing, replace them. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Never buy cheap tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Replacing the bulbs on your taillights or headlights yourself can save you both time and money. It is simple to do on some cars and can save you a lot of money. Ask for help from friends and family.
Ask about prices and labor rates before you give your keys to a mechanic. Some shops have these costs in conspicuous places, so you need to carefully read and ask any questions you have if something doesn’t make sense. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Some stores are able to give you an estimate for how long they’ll keep your car. Other shops may charge an inflated rate for a minor repair that should be done within a shorter period of time.
You should not have a lot of heavy items on your keychain. Your car ignition shouldn’t have to hold so much weight. If your key starts sticking, you need to get new tumblers and no longer use that little troll head keychain!
Be sure that you’re reminding yourself of oil changes when your vehicle requires one. 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.
Keep washing your car throughout the winter. Your car may get dirty again quickly, but all that buildup is terrible for your car. With so much sand and salt around, you are just asking for rust and abrasion. Dry the car right after washing, and make sure you do it thoroughly.
Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. Some shops might strip your car to justify billing you for more repairs. Should something bad happen, it is helpful to have images of what your car looks like.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. Be sure someone is watching you repair the vehicle just in case something bad happens. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. This is very important for the tools you need to change a tire. Keep in mind that the jack must hold the car up securely, particularly if you’re under it. Hydraulic floor jacks with a stand should definitely be considered for purchase.
Never attempt to diagnose complicated car problems on your own. Remember, you’re not a professional. Do not assume an issue can be fixed easily, unless you have previous experience with this type of issue. Let the mechanic diagnose the problem. Allow them to know whatever is going on with your vehicle and what kinds of noises you’ve heard and let them make the decision as to what can be done.
It may be a good idea to fully photograph your car internally and externally prior to taking it in for repairs. Most shops would not strip your car, but there are those who do this to make extra money. It is wise to have proof of your car’s condition, should something unfortunate occur.
Not many people bother reading their owner’s manual. It’s important that you understand the specifics of your model. Your vehicle has tons of information about the maintenance of your vehicle, including information for small do-it-yourself repairs.
Take the time to learn about car part classifications before seeing a mechanic. Parts have classifications, including salvaged, new, and re-manufactured and reconditioned. New parts are brand new and made to the manufacturer’s specification. If a part is rebuilt or reconditioned, it has simply been fixed or restored. If a used part is designated as “salvage,” it has not been reconditioned.
OEM is something that means Original Equipment Manufacturer. Whenever you have to have parts replaced, keep this term in mind. Talking about OEM parts makes you look knowledgeable. There will be far less danger of receiving used parts.
Mechanics should always be properly certified. Look for the NIAE seal of approval. This is a sign that the mechanic is knowledgeable, and it should give you confidence in their ability to provide excellent service.
Get yourself an AAA membership. Joining the AAA can be a real lifesaver when it comes time to call a tow truck or deal with a auto repair shop. You’ll often find that AAA has great discounts that reduce any out of pocket costs.
The panic and confusion that often comes when your car needs repairs is dreaded by most people. You have to understand car repairs at least somewhat to feel more confident. Hopefully, you’ve gained the knowledge that you needed by reading this article.
It is possible to put oil in your car and refill windshield wiper fluid yourself. There is no need for an auto mechanic to do simple maintenance jobs. You should learn how to do the work, then roll up your sleeves and get dirty.