When you car has problems, you should shoot to have it on the road as soon as possible. If you don’t have a working car, it can be hard to travel. You don’t always need to pay huge amounts of money for repairs. You can handle many auto repairs by yourself.
Get a good battery charger to keep in your vehicle. People commonly experience dead batteries, making battery chargers good for helping stranded drivers. Make sure you know how to connect the charger to your battery.
Regularly check your radiator’s performance. You need to allow your car to run for a couple of minutes, shut down the engine and then open up the hood. You should never open your radiator whenever your car is turned on. Check radiator fluid by using a dipstick and remember to dilute coolant with water prior to adding it.
Inspect your radiator once in a while. Let the car run briefly, shut the engine, then open 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 check the fluid levels, and always add the correct amount of water to your coolant before adding it to your tank.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you don’t understand something, clarify your concerns with the mechanic or service adviser before they work on the car. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.
You don’t always need a mechanic when your car is having problems. There are a few things that could be fixed very easily. If you feel confident, you can get on the Internet and research to discover the problem. If it’s a quick repair to make, you can save yourself some cash by doing it yourself.
Clean you car on a regular basis so it doesn’t become rusty. All cars will eventually rust out, but you can delay the process considerably by making sure any salt or chemicals are washed off as soon as possible. A good wax is your best friend: a friend that will protect that shiny new paint job for a long time.
It is a good idea to use referrals to find a decent mechanic. Look to your family, friends, and colleagues for their suggestions. You can inquire about price, work quality and overall satisfaction. These people will be able to inform you of their experience with the mechanic.
Before you pay the mechanic, test drive the car to be sure that it is actually fixed. Many people don’t take this crucial step and wind up plagued by the same issue that brought them to the shop in the first place.
Test drive your vehicle after repairs before paying the auto repair shop. A lot of people don’t try to drive their car first and they figure out the hard way that it wasn’t repaired later on.
Be careful of mechanics who will do unnecessary work on your vehicle. Good mechanics will tell you about worn down pieces without replacing them automatically. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.
Be wary of auto technicians who perform unneeded repairs on your vehicle. A trustworthy mechanic should inform you about parts that are becoming worn and will need replacement in the near future, but no parts should be replaced without first getting your approval. Never give your repeat business to a auto technician who preforms unnecessary repairs.
Watch out for mechanics that don’t know what they’re doing. If you have trouble getting a straight answer out of them, (or if, even worse, they refuse to answer questions to your satisfaction) they probably aren’t the kind of people you want to work with. It is important that you establish trust with the person who is going to fix your vehicle.
Get rid of any unnecessary key-chains that are attached to your car keys. The ignition in your car can’t withstand too much extra weight, even if that weight doesn’t seem excessive to you. If your key begins to stick, you need to replace your tumblers and get rid of your favorite troll buddy that is weighing down your keychain!
Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. Ignoring those for a long time can worsen issues later.
Always be prepared for a flat tire by having a spare tire, jack and tire iron in your vehicle at all times. Many cars will come with these straight off of the dealership’s floor. Being stuck with a flat tire is not something anyone hopes for. Paying for someone to help is expensive. You do the job yourself with less time and expense.
Know when your oil needs changing. In order for your vehicle to run as well as possible, you need to have the oil changed regularly. Failing to get routine oil changes will shorten you car’s life, so set reminders if necessary.
Replace your light bulbs on your own. Some vehicles have a simpler system than others, but you can save a lot by doing it yourself regardless of how complex your system is. See if someone you know can tell you how it’s done.
Do not start working on DIY projects unless you are sure of yourself. Work with someone nearby if you do plan to work on your car. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. You’ll especially need good equipment for changing tires. The jack you buy needs to support your vehicle well. Err on the side of caution with a hydraulic floor jack, specifically one that has safety-tested and approved stands.
You may want to get your car repaired by a person who does work out of their own garage. If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, and they will usually charge you less for labor. This can save you a lot of money, and at the same time, help out a small auto shop instead of letting a big shop profit.
Bring your car to the auto repair shop immediately if you sense a problem, no matter how small. The problem might get worse if you do not get it fixed quickly, or your diagnosis might not be correct.
See if any of your friends or family members have had a positive experience at a particular auto shop. You may get a few recommendations from your friends and family that make your search easier. That said, check up on who they refer as well. At least try to find some online reviews on the shops that they recommend.
A warranty is one of the most important things you’ll need for car repairs. Ask the mechanic beforehand what the warranty will be for any part, but especially the expensive ones. Find out how long the warranty lasts and ask for a printed version of the contract so you can review it.
Ask about labor rates and prices before giving the keys to a shop. 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 need to know how you’re billed for the repairs. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.
Some auto shops have even been known to replace your tires with older models. They usually do this to make a quick buck from you. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. If the marks are gone when you get your vehicle back, you have probably been swindled.
When your car gives you trouble, you don’t necessarily have to take it to an expensive mechanic. Quite often you can solve basic issues right in your own garage. Use the things you’ve gone over here and you should be back to driving in no time.
Don’t fall prey to believing someone who tells you there is a lifetime guarantee for auto parts. Often, that’s their way of getting more money out of you. For example, you can find cars that come equipped with “lifetime” fluid in their transmission. While it’s not changed as much as typical fluid, it must be changed around every 80,000 miles.