If you drive every day, you need to know some basic things about auto repair. Most people do not have the necessary knowledge to do this. Thankfully, the tips below are a great start.
Always ask lots of questions when your car is at the shop. These questions should be geared around the problems that you faced and what actions you can take so that they will not happen again. One of the best ways to save on car maintenance is to prevent problems in the first place. A little money spent for prevention can save thousands in the future.
Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. The basis of this certification is that your mechanic has over two years of experience and they have passed appropriate testing. This will let you know that the best possible person is working on your automobile.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. Then check the coolant level, but while the car is not running. You do not want the coolant to get hot; it is dangerous. Use a dipstick to gauge how much radiator fluid you have, keeping in mind that most types need to be diluted with water.
Get yourself a good battery charger, making sure to keep it inside the car. Having a car battery die is a common problem, so keeping a battery charger in your car can help you and others in this situation. Before you drive again, figure out how to use it properly.
Be sure to keep your car’s records. It is a good idea to leave these in the glove compartment because you never know when your car has to go to the shop suddenly. The mechanics who work on your car might need to go through these records. This can make the process go more smoothly.
There are certain repairs that you can do yourself. Some car repairs are easy to do yourself. If you are game, consider doing some online research to diagnose the issue. If it’s not hard to fix, try it yourself.
When taking your car to the auto shop, make sure you haven’t left any items in it. Mechanics might have to empty the inside of your vehicle and they cannot be held responsible if an item is damaged or missing. Empty the trunk too.
Make sure you replace old parts with OEM parts. OEM parts means that part was produced by the manufacturer specifically for your make and model of vehicle. Generic parts can be cheaper but OEM parts will last longer and usually come with a better warranty. You may save in the short term, but additional failures could end up costing you big time.
Keep up with your wiper blades. If you notice your wiper blades leaving streaks on your windshield, or they chatter, then it is time to obtain new blades. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.
Make a DIY kit to store in the trunk to help you in times of need. The tools you need include tire changing equipment, which usually come with a car. If you lack a lug wrench and a jack, purchase both. You should have a Phillips and flat head screwdriver and several types of wrenches. Don’t buy poor-quality tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Remember that DIY auto repair may be quite dangerous. Always have someone close at hand to help you in case of emergency. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. This is particularly true with tire changing tools. Remember that your jack needs to hold your car up very securely, especially if you are going to be underneath the car. Hydraulic floor jacks with a stand should definitely be considered for purchase.
If your taillight or headlight burns out, you may save a ton repairing them yourself. It is easier on some vehicles than others, however no matter what type of vehicle you have it will be cheaper than hiring a mechanic for the job. Ask someone you know if they can instruct you on how to do it.
When you get gas, always check tire pressure. Look at the tires and make sure that they there is nothing embedded in them. If anything is wrong with your tires, the problem needs to be addressed quickly. It is very dangerous driving on bad tires.
Speak with friends about auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. Your family and friends may have a few recommendations for you that will make your search much easier. Still, you should do some research on the shops they recommend. At least look for reviews online.
Take pictures of your entire vehicle before taking it to the shop to get repaired. Most shops are reputable but there are always a few bad apples out there. This can give you proper documentation in the case of an accident.
Keep an eye on the lights located on the dash, and make sure you are aware of what they all mean. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. Problems will worsen if you simply ignore them.
Before seeking out a mechanic, learn about car parts’ standard classifications. There are refurbished parts, reconditioned parts, and salvage parts. “New” refers to parts that have been created to manufacturer specifications either through an independent retailer or them. Re-manufactured, rebuilt and reconditioned happen to be parts that have been restored to a decent working condition. If a used part is designated as “salvage,” it has not been reconditioned.
Know when your oil needs changing. It is essential to have your oil changed so that your engine runs properly and and works at its peak performance. Running old oil in the car could cause it to run badly so make sure you make the pertinent dates on your calendar.
If you have a serious automobile issue, take it to a professional. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. What you may see as a simple fix can really be very complicated, especially if you own one of the newer vehicles equipped with a computer. Let repair shops diagnose your vehicle. Tell them what you’ve observed, and then let them do their job.
Understand that visiting your dealer for auto repair work is not always necessary. You should be able to find reliable mechanics in your area, either by going to a repair shop or an independent garage. If you’re comfortable with a tech, use him or her.
Some shops replace your tired with even older ones. Some shops will try to squeeze every dollar out of you. Before you go in, place some chalk on your tires to mark them up. Make sure you check your tires before you leave the garage to make sure they are the ones you drove in on.
Take pictures of your car before dropping it off at the mechanic to ensure that it doesn’t not receive damage while in the shop, Sometimes shady mechanics supplement their income by stripping a car of its more expensive parts. You should make sure you keep track of the way your vehicle is looking just in case something like this were to happen.
There are no auto parts that will last the entirety of your life, and you shouldn’t buy any products that claim to do so. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. This does not mean you never have to change your fluids. They should still be changed at least every 80,000 miles.
Learn all you can about your car and its parts. There are several different classifications that determine the quality of the part. New parts are exactly as they sound. They are brand new and created to the specifications of the manufacturer. “Re-manufactered, rebuilt and reconditioned” are parts that are restored to a good working condition. “Salvage” means that the parts are used and lack alteration.
Always get your car repair estimate in writing. This written estimate is useful in the event a complaint must be filed against your mechanic. Besides, the mechanic will be less likely to add unnecessary repairs to your bill if he already provided you with a written quote.
Owning a car includes being responsible for maintaining it and fixing it when you need to. Unfortunately, some people do not know how to find affordable auto repair or make their own repairs. Take these ideas and apply them next time you need to repair you car. You should be able to save yourself time and money in the future. Good luck.
Knowing about how your car runs can help you recognize any problems. If you have enough time, sign up for a class that will teach you about auto repairs. The money you spend on a class will be well worth it. This will enable you to better service your car which will help it last longer.