Fixing a car can be expensive. The cost of parts are significant, but the labor costs can add up as well. Would you like to be able to do some basic repairs yourself? This article can help you learn to do just that,
An emergency kit is a must for your car. Your kit should include jumper cables, tire changing tools and maybe some extra 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.
When you are shopping for a repair shop, take into consideration whether they have worked on the same type of car as yours. If they have before, then they are likely going to be able to also fix your car easily enough.
Get your car washed often to keep rust at bay. Cars eventually rust, but you can put off the process by washing off chemicals or salt quickly. Protect your paint with good wax.
Use the Internet to search for local auto body shop reviews. This lets you know how other customers have felt. You can find a place you feel comfortable enough with to fix your car.
Each time you get your vehicle repaired, no matter what the reason, be sure you have a record of it. Having detailed records will be useful if you need to perform more repairs on your vehicle. If you don’t have a record of past work, it may cost you money and make it hard for the technician to diagnose the problem.
Make sure that you specifically request OEM parts. These parts are issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. It can appear like a deal right now and cost twice the amount later as OEM components to begin with.
Once an auto shop has made repairs to your car, test drive it to ensure they did a good job prior to paying them. A lot of people forget to test drive their vehicle and pay for repairs that did not really fix their problem.
Keep a spare tire and jack in your trunk. They are usually included when you buy a car. This way you won’t get stuck anywhere and need to pay someone to tow you. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.
Be careful of mechanics who will do unnecessary work on your vehicle. They should contact you before doing any extra work. Don’t go back to mechanics who made unneeded repairs.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your trunk. You’re going to need to have some tire changing tools in this kit at the very least. Get a lug wrench or a jack. You should have a Phillips and flat head screwdriver and several types of wrenches. Don’t buy low-quality tools. Choose tools which will last the test of time, especially when they’re required.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These parts are the same original parts designed by the manufacturer. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. Getting a good deal on generic parts means you might have to purchase the same parts again and pay a mechanic to change them within the next few years.
Always keep a clear and easy path to your key on the keychain. It is advised that you remove any and all fluffy keychains from the ring. The ignition on your car is not devised to hold all the weight, even when you don’t consider it heavy. If you have a key that’s sticking, then you are going to have to replace your tumblers and then get rid of your fun keychains.
Headlights will sometimes dim over time, but often is just a matter of cleaning them off regularly. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. Clean theses with a good quality glass cleaning agent to get them as clean as possible.
Ask about labor rates and prices before giving the keys to a shop. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately. Know where the estimated prices come from. A lot of places will give you an estimate of how long this will take that they were given by various manufacturers. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
Be on the lookout for clear indications that a mechanic is not the right one for the job. If a mechanic is not giving you straight answers or cannot explain repairs in details, you should keep looking. Run, don’t walk, to another mechanic.
Learn to recognize the different warning lights on your dashboard. These symbols light up to warn you of a problem. If you keep ignoring them it’ll make the problem worse.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. Most of the new cars of today have them in the trunk. This way you won’t get stuck anywhere and need to pay someone to tow you. It is simpler and cheaper to do the work yourself.
Understand the risks involved with DIY auto repairs. Always have a buddy to help you. Buy only the highest quality tools that will last and not break under pressure. Tire changing equipment definitely needs to be high grade. Make sure that the jack in your car can securely hold up the vehicle so you are safe while using it. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes.
If you’re having serious repairs done on your vehicle, make sure to get multiple estimates. Although shops usually can be trusted, you could end up having to pay extra money that you don’t have. Take your time and find a shop you feel you can trust. Also, look for someone who has experience with your type of car. These repair shops are better equipped to understand and repair any problem your car has.
Take pictures of your entire vehicle before taking it to the shop to get repaired. This way if you suspect something has been removed without your approval, you have photographic proof. It is better to document what your vehicle looks like just in case this horrible thing happens to you.
Change your oil at least once every couple of months to stay safe. You have to change it regularly to keep your car running smoothly. Most mechanics will place a sticker inside your vehicle to remind you of when the next oil change is due, but you should write down when you changed the oil if you do this yourself.
Some unscrupulous auto shop will replace your tires with older ones and sell your tires. Shops will do this to take advantage of those who are not wise enough to catch them. Before visiting the shop, use chalk to mark your tires. If the chalk is not present when you go pick up the car, you have definitely been had.
Your mechanic should have the right qualifications to work on your car. You should especially check for the A.S.E Seal of Approval from the Nat’l Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. A person with this certification will more than likely give you good service.
Do not pay for services that you don’t need at an auto shop. Flushing an engine can be expensive and is only needed in cases where the engine is in bad shape.
Don’t let a mechanic talk you into getting your car’s engine flushed when it doesn’t need it. This service is costly, and it is not really needed unless you haven’t been taking good care of your engine.
Bleed your brakes after there has been work on them. Make sure it is done before you take it on a test drive. Afterwards, be sure to pump your brake fluid. Check for leaks. You should then be ready for test driving on a road that lacks tons of traffic. Start slow to ensure nothing is wrong.
Car repairs and maintenance are an inevitable part of life. There are some repairs you can do yourself. You can save yourself some serious cash if you do the repairs yourself. The following tips should help you get started.
Join AAA if you need someone to help you with an auto repair. The AAA is great if you need some help such as getting a tow truck to your location or to deal with repairs. The discounts they provide will end up saving you money over time.