Care and maintenance of your vehicle is critical, especially if you drive frequently. However, a great number of people do not even know the basics of auto repair. Luckily, the article below has some great tips that will help you keep your car in tip top shape.
Monitor your radiator. Start your car, wait a few minutes and shut it off so you can safely inspect the radiator. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Use a dipstick to gauge how much radiator fluid you have, keeping in mind that most types need to be diluted with water.
You want to be sure that the mechanic working on your vehicle is A.S.E certified. That means the technician has more than two years of experience and passed a test. This means a top professional is doing your repairs.
Read as much of your auto manual as you can, marking anything that is important. When you do have to deal with a mechanic, you can show him the copy of the manual, which can help him. The issue may be very simple to fix, saving you time and money.
Use the Internet to find reviews on an auto repair shop. This will tell you everything you need to know about the shop. This information can then be used to get with a shop that makes you comfortable.
Have a battery charger in your car at all times. A dead battery is more common than you think and you will be able to help other broken down drivers if you have a battery charger with you. Learn how to connect your car to the batter charger.
Before you pay for repairs, take the car out for a spin to make sure things are working as they should. If you don’t, you may still experience the same problem with the car once you get it home.
Regularly check your radiator. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Check your radiator fluid and remember to mix water with coolant before filling your radiator.
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. Find a mechanic who seems trustworthy and knows how to answer all your questions.
Familiarize yourself with your car’s 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. The issue may be very simple to fix, saving you time and money.
Keep a spare tire and jack in your trunk. Most of the new cars of today have them in the trunk. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. It is simpler and cheaper to handle it on your own.
Keep all of your car records handy. Keeping them in the glove compartment is smart. The mechanics who work on your car might need to go through these records. The records can help them determine what is wrong with your car.
Keep a DIY tool kit in your trunk. Make sure you have something to change a tire. You need to purchase a lug wrench and a jack if you do not have them. Basic tools such as screw drivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, torque wrench and other basic tools are also handy to have. Don’t buy low-quality tools. Purchase solid tools that are resistant to breakage.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. Should your vehicle encounter other problems down the line, it will helpful for the auto technician to see past records. These records will make identifying issues much easier to diagnose and will save you time and money.
Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. These lights can let you know when something is wrong with your car. If you simply overlook them for months on end, there is a chance your vehicle might sustain irreparable damage.
Be on the lookout for clear indications that a mechanic is not the right one for the job. If they are talking in circles and avoiding your questions, you should take your business elsewhere. It is good to feel like you trust your mechanic, so move on if you don’t feel like you can.
It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. Winter can ruin the quality of your car with constant precipitation. The sand and salt from winter leads to rust and abrasion. Dry the car right after washing, and make sure you do it thoroughly.
Assemble an auto repair kit and put it inside of your trunk. You should have basic tools such as equipment to change a tire, fix a flat, add oil and a gallon of water. Get a lug wrench or a jack. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Don’t get cheap tools. Invest in quality tools that will not break as you perform repairs on your vehicle.
Keep in mind that any DIY auto repairs can be dangerous. Make sure there is somebody nearby to assist if things go wrong. Buy tools that are of a good quality so they’re not going to break when you use them. Nowhere is this more applicable than with the items you use to change a tire. Also, buy a strong jack in case you need to prop your car up in an emergency. You should think about purchasing a hydraulic floor jack that has approved stands.
Doing vehicle repairs yourself can also be rather risky. Be sure someone is watching you repair the vehicle just in case something bad happens. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. This is very true for things such as tire changing tools. Remember that you need a jack that can hold the vehicle up especially when you need to get under it. Thus, hydraulic jacks and jack stands are important to have.
Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. This way if you suspect something has been removed without your approval, you have photographic proof. The appearance of your vehicle needs to be documented in case something bad happens.
You should always get a good warranty when investing in new expensive parts. When you are getting car repairs, ask about warranties on parts. Inquire as to how long it is for and get a printed copy.
Do not hire a mechanic who is not certified. The National Institute for Automotive Excellence provides the seal of approval for consumers to look for. This lets you know they have training ans will provide you with good work.
Some vocational schools offer cheap repairs to those on a budget. This will save you money and can give you just as good a job on your car.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is often referred to as OEM. You need to know this when replacing parts. You’ll seem educated if you tell a mechanic you would like OEM parts. This means you’re less likely to receive used parts.
Keep a plastic accordion file in your car and put all your auto repair receipts in it. With that type of file, you can organize your files by time or specific types of repairs. However you sort them, you’ll have your car’s history on hand should you need it when out on the road. When you sell you car, it can come in handy as well.
Don’t fall prey to believing someone who tells you there is a lifetime guarantee for auto parts. This is a lie in an attempt to take your money. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. It does not last a lifetime and has to be changed every 80k miles.
It is important to know about the different components of your vehicle so you can easily diagnose where the problem is coming from. If you feel you are lacking in this department, think about signing up for a car repair class. While spending money on a course may not be something you want to do, it can actually help you save later on down the road because you’ll have a better idea about how cars work. It will be easier for you to catch problems before they get out of hand.
Owning a car means you have the ultimate responsibility of keeping it in working order. However, you may not know how to perform repair work yourself and you may not know how to find a good mechanic. Go over the ideas that you just read again from time to time so you can be sure you’re able to fix anything that could go wrong later on.
If a mechanic will not give you an estimate in writing, look elsewhere. If he does not do the work correctly, you will have a hard time recovering any damages, because you will have no proof of the work that he was contracted to do.