Do you wish you knew more about fixing your own car problems? It might seem hard to fix a car, but it is rewarding when you can do it. By doing minor repairs yourself, you can save money and extend your car’s life. Perform your own auto repairs when possible by adhering to the following helpful guide.
Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. Make sure to consider previous problems you’ve had, and ask how to prevent them. Learning how to prevent certain issues will help you save a lot of money.
Do you understand what the estimated cost for your fix is? Ask any questions you have about the service before they start work on the car. You don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.
Keep an eye on your radiator levels. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Never open the radiator while the car is on. Use a dipstick to check the fluid level in your radiator and mix some coolant with water if you need to add more fluid.
Be sure to wash your car often so as to prevent rust. Your car will rust out but you can easily delay this process by washing off salt and chemicals. Wax is also important.
There is no better way to find an auto mechanic than to get a referral. Ask friends, family or co-workers for recommendations. They will be able to give you a heads up about satisfaction, quality and price. People will tell you about the mechanic’s honesty and if their experience was a good one.
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself well with your car’s manual. When you show up to a mechanic’s shop, you are going to have to explain some information about your car. You can even find that reading the manual can help you fix the issue.
Tag the important pages in your vehicle manual. If you have to get an auto repair, the mechanics will need to know specifics from the manual that are unique to your car. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.
Do not leave valuable items in the interior of your car if you need to leave it at the repair shop. If something is missing, it will be your fault if you do not take it out. Everything needs to be taken out of your trunk too.
Record each repair that you have done on your car. If you experience future problems with your vehicle, this past record will help the mechanic in diagnosing the problems. If you do not have documentation, you may have duplicate services performed.
If your headlights seem dim, they might just be dirty. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. Wash them with a good glass cleaner and see as well as you should.
Prior to paying for any repairs you’ve had done, you should go on a drive to figure out if it was really fixed. If you don’t, you may still experience the same problem with the car once you get it home.
Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. They are usually included when you buy a car. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.
Check with your mechanic to see of they have experience working with the make of your vehicle. While basic components may be the same, there are differences between cars due to the amount of space beneath the hood. If you are unsure, pay the extra to have a dealer do the repairs.
If you have to have a big repair done, get multiple estimates. Most shops are on the up and up, but some will charge you for things that aren’t necessary. Search for a reliable shops that is knowledgeable with your kind of car. They may have an easier time understanding what needs to be done to your car.
Keep a spare tire and a jack with you all the time. They are usually included when you buy a car. Stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire is bad news. Stuck without a jack and spare tire is bad news and a big bill. It’s cheaper to do on your own.
Look at all lights that flash on the dashboard and learn what they mean. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. Do not ignore them, as this can put your safety in danger.
Repairs like burned out taillights or headlights can be fixed on your own. You can do this easily on some vehicles, and you’ll find it costs you less than having a company help you. Ask whether someone you know can show you how to fix it.
Ensure that your oil is changed with regularity. It is essential to have your oil changed so that your engine runs properly and and works at its peak performance. It can vary a bit between different vehicles and cars go much longer between oil changes than they used to. But you must do them when recommended.
Speak with friends about auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. They can help point you in the right direction if so. Even after getting a few names, though, do your research. Online reviews can give you a quick overview of anyone that you have in mind.
Understand that visiting your dealer for auto repair work is not always necessary. There are many great technicians all over the place. If you’re comfortable with a tech, use him or her.
A dealer isn’t your only option for auto repair. There are many technicians that may be closer in proximity to your house. Find a mechanic who is certified and reliable.
A warranty is one of the most important things you’ll need for car repairs. Ask the mechanic about the warranties on any parts he is replacing. Learn the length of time of the warranties, and ask your mechanic to print out a copy of the contract for you to look over it.
There are many some unscrupulous auto body shops out there that will remove your tires and replace them with older ones. They profit from your oblivion. Therefore, always put a little chalk on them so you can identify your tires. You have been duped if there is no chalk on the tires when you pick it up.
Don’t let a mechanic convince you that an engine flush is a common maintenance procedure. It is quite expensive and usually only necessary for engines in very bad shape. There is a good chance they are just trying to “pad” your bill, unless your engine is in real trouble.
There is a good way to save money if you are willing to take a risk. Instead of taking your car to a repair shop, take it to the local vocational school. You can pay much less for service since students are still learning how to repair cars.
Don’t buy any parts that come with a promise of lasting a lifetime. 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. Although this special transmission fluid does last longer than regular fluid, it still needs to be replaced after 80,000 miles.
Don’t be intimidated by auto repair. Although the engine may seem complicated to you, once you know the basics, auto repair is as easy as pie. Remember the tips in this article for reference. Auto repair can be done on your own if you remember them.
Look to AAA for reliable auto repairs. This is a great service to have when you are stranded and need help. You are going to find that AAA has many discount options in place.