There is nothing similar to the freedom you feel when you have your own vehicle. You can go wherever you want, at any time you want. The flip side is that you could also find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. The advice included here will help you handle that situation if it arises.
An emergency kit is a must for your car. Your kit should include jumper cables, tire changing tools and maybe some extra gas. For night time breakdowns, make sure to include warm blankets and a flashlight with extra batteries.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If a certain cost confuses you, don’t hesitate to clear this up with the mechanic before allowing him or her to make repairs to your vehicle. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
Check your coolant levels frequently. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up 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 radiator’s fluid level, and remember to always mix water in with your coolant if need be. Some coolants come premixed.
Look up your local body shop’s reviews online. This will give you an idea of how the public likes their customer service, and how well they are at fixing problems. This information can then be used to get with a shop that makes you comfortable.
Go through your automobile’s manual and make sure to mark important pages. Any auto professional with a good reputation will need to know all he can about your car. Also, reading the manual may help you realize that the repair you need, can be done easily by you.
Look for warning signs that repair mechanics may give off. If they avoid your questions, you may want to look elsewhere. You need to trust a mechanic, and if you do not feel that trust, find another one.
Every time your car is repaired, regardless of how minor the problem was, make sure you keep a record. If your car ends up with more problems later on, your mechanic will appreciate having access to your past records. Without records, you might have to pay higher costs due to taking longer to find the problem.
Has your mechanic worked on your model of vehicle before? Though there are lots of universal concepts, a large SUV requires different knowledge than a compact car does. If you’re not comfortable with your mechanic working on your car, take it to the dealer instead.
Test your car out after a repair has been done by a mechanic. Make sure it is operating correctly before full payment is made. A lot of people do not do this; therefore, they wind up with the same issues that existed before taking their car to the shop.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your trunk. Your car came with equipment needed for changing a tire. You need to get yourself a lug nut wrench and a jack, as well. A Philips head as well as flat head screwdriver should be helpful, plus socket and adjustable wrenches. Never skimp when buying tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
Your repair person should be upfront and honest with you. If they avoid your questions or give you the run around, they may not be reliable. It’s best to feel that you trust your repair person, so don’t hesitate to move on.
There are many “backyard” mechanics out there that preform excellent auto repairs. When they are certified and have experience, they may be worth hiring. This is a good way of saving money while investing in your local community.
Always have a repair kit located in your car; you can put one together yourself. Make sure you have something to change a tire. Get a lug wrench or a jack. Also have a few tools like a socket set, both a regular and Phillips head screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a torque wrench. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Instead, you should obtain solid tools that don’t break whenever you really need them.
Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. They’re there for a reason. Do not ignore these lights or you might have to pay for more expensive repairs later on.
Do your friends or family have any recommendations for good repairers? Personal recommendations are usually honest and forthright. However, make sure you still do your own investigations on anyone that they recommend. Check online to see if there is other information or reviews about the shop in question.
Keep washing your vehicle, even in winter. The winter damages your car more than any other season. Exposure to the elements can cause rust and abrasion. Take care to dry your vehicle before driving it again. You wouldn’t want ice to form.
Avoid attaching your car keys to a heavy key chain or detach your keys every time you drive. The ignition is not suited to that weight, even when you think it isn’t much. If you notice the key sticking, then you must get rid of all the extra stuff attached to your keys.
Prior to having a car repaired, take pictures of all parts of it. Most shops are reputable but there are always a few bad apples out there. The appearance of your vehicle needs to be documented in case something bad happens.
Inquire about labor rates and overall cost before handing your keys to the mechanic. Not all shops will be upfront about their prices, so ask anyone available for this information. You should understand how you are billed by your mechanic. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.
Find out a little about the car parts you need before you go to a mechanic. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage. “New” refers to parts that have been created to manufacturer specifications either through an independent retailer or them. “Refurbished”, “rebuilt”, etc. mean that the part is like new, and potentially even better than new, as it has been renovated and tested repeatedly. “Salvage” means that it came off a car and hasn’t been fixed.
Keep track of how often you need to change your oil. Your vehicle may mot run smoothly or efficiently if you do not take this important step. 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.
There are no auto parts that will work forever, so don’t believe any claims to the contrary. This is usually a ploy to get more money from you. Some vehicles come with a “lifetime” fluid for your transmission. This shouldn’t have to be changed quite as often as standard fluid, but it should be changed every 80,000 miles.
Remember that DIY auto repair may be quite dangerous. Ensure that you have help close at hand in case something goes wrong. Get high-quality tools that will not break while you’re working. This is very important for the tools that you use to change your tires. Do not forget that you are relying on your jack to support your car while you work beneath it. Buy an adequate hydraulic floor jack that has approved jack stands.
For things that aren’t too difficult to repair, like putting fluids in your car, you should be afraid to take care of these things. The idea that you should have to pay for a mechanic to do these things is laughable. You should learn how to do the work, then roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
Not many people bother reading their owner’s manual. You should review this manual and learn how to use it so you can locate useful information quickly. The manual is full of key facts about your car and how to perform minor repair work.
Just because you have a car that isn’t working, doesn’t mean it will cost you quite a bit of money to repair it. In many cases, you can fix your car’s problems on your own. Have your car working again by using this advice.
If you encounter a serious problem that threatens your safety on a brand new car, contact the manufacturer. You may find that there is already a manufacturer’s recall to fix this problem. If there is not yet a recall, your report of the problem may help lead to one. Regardless, the manufacturer will typically offer an acceptable solution to your issue.