When your vehicle breaks down, getting it running again should be your priority. Getting around in some areas of the country is impossible without a personal vehicle. That said, you don’t need to shell out tons of money for fixing a car. Read on to find out more about basic car repair.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you don’t understand something, talk to the mechanic first. You surely do not want unpleasant surprises when you go to get the car.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. This kit should consist of tire changing tools, jumper cables, and an empty container that is appropriate for re-fueling your gas tank. You may also want to add some batteries, a flashlight and a few blankets in the event that you break down at night.
To prevent your car from getting rusty, wash it consistently. While cars are going to rust eventually, you can definitely slow this down by ensuring all chemicals are cleaned off your car as quickly as possible. Protect your paint with regular waxing.
Regularly check out your radiator. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Refrain from opening the radiator when your car is on. Use a dipstick to check the amount of fluid in the radiator. You should also make sure to mix coolant fluid with water before you pour it into your radiator.
Avoid mechanics who charge you for repairs that are not really needed. A good mechanic will never perform work without getting your full approval. Never return to a mechanic that ripped you off.
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 are able to say they’ve done work on a vehicle similar to yours, then they’re probably aware of what kind of work is necessary to fix yours.
Before bringing your car to a mechanic, attempt to figure out by yourself what’s wrong. You will not be duped, and you can save tons of money when you find out the problem yourself. You may already know that a few mechanics sometime engage in dishonesty if they think they can make a larger profit.
Ask your mechanic if he’s worked on a vehicle similar to yours. Different cars require different skill sets. If you cannot be sure, just take the car to a dealership.
Ensure that your mechanic is familiar with your vehicle’s make. Cars vary greatly by make and model so it is important that your mechanic is familiar with your make and model of car. Do not hesitate to take your vehicle to a dealership to have experienced mechanics work on it.
You ought to always have a spare and a jack in the car. New cars often come with a kit you can use to change a tire. This way you won’t get stuck anywhere and need to pay someone to tow you. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.
You may be able to replace the lights on your car yourself. While it is different with each vehicle, it is much cheaper to do it yourself. See if someone you know can tell you how it’s done.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your car. For instance, if anything dealing with tire changes came with the car, have this in your car. You will need to get a lug wrench and a jack if you don’t already have them. Then have a screwdriver kit, socket wrench kit, ratchet set, torque wrench and adjustable wrench, too. Never buy really cheap tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
Before you settle on a mechanic, inquire about their rates and prices. Many shops display a list of their rates, so make sure you understand everything involved in their billing practices. You have to figure out what you’re going to get billed with and how to pay. They may be from a manual written by the car’s manufacturer. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.
Learn to recognize the different warning lights on your dashboard. Paying attention to these warnings is always in your best interest. Don’t ignore any dashboard lights that come on, as the problem may grow worse if it’s ignored.
Don’t neglect wiper blades. Replace them when they’re not clearing the windshield well. Wiper blades need to be replaced once every year or possibly more often depending on the where you live.
It may be a good idea to fully photograph your car internally and externally prior to taking it in for repairs. Most shops won’t damage your vehicle, but you never know. You need to be able to document the original damages done to your vehicle in case your mechanic fails to fix them or makes things worse.
Avoid fluffy, silly keychains, or find a way to separate your auto key from that bunch of keys on the chain! This can help you drive safer and more secure. Particularly, if you notice that the key is hard to extract from the ignition, you need to make a change!
A warranty is one of the most important things you’ll need for car repairs. Ask the mechanic about the parts’ warranty. Ask how long it lasts, and request a physical copy of the contract.
Inspect your manual so that you know what each dashboard light represents. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. Yes, there are sometimes false positives, but it is risky to ignore these warning lights. If you do so, a problem can get worse and become more costly to fix.
Be certain your technician is properly certified. Have they been certified by the Automotive Excellent National Institute? This indicates that the person should know what they are doing, and you are much more likely to get good service as a result.
If someone claims the parts they sell last a lifetime, run away. This is a trick used to charge you more for parts. For instance, certain cars have transmission fluid that is claimed to last a lifetime. While it’s not changed as much as typical fluid, it must be changed around every 80,000 miles.
Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. They can make money this way. Mark your tires with some chalks before taking your car to an auto shop. You have been duped if there is no chalk on the tires when you pick it up.
If your brakes are having issues and you try to correct the problem, always bleed them before you start the car back up again. After this, pump your brake fluid. Make sure to watch out for leaks. Now you can take your car out for a test drive on roads with light traffic. Don’t drive too fast at first to make sure everything is working properly.
If you’re short on funds, find a vocational school in your area to see if they can repair it. You will get an excellent rate and your car will be fixed by an instructor and students in training.
If you have a major issue that threatens safety in a new car, talk to the manufacturer. This may be something that is affecting everyone with the vehicle. With a new car, the problem will generally be covered by the warranty, and the dealer will fix it.
It is quite common for customers to find out about additional issues when they pick up their vehicle from an auto shop. They often try to make you think you’re getting a great deal. Tell the mechanic that you will need to think about it, then shop around for a better price.
Clearly, repairing a vehicle need to require an expensive visit to a mechanic. A lot of the time your problems can be solved when you’re at home. Apply what you’ve just learned, and keep your car running its best.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are speaking with a mechanic. Ask anything you should know about repairs, rather than price alone. When will the repairs be done? What work is to be done? How much do the auto parts cost? Make a long list of questions. This will not only show the mechanic that you are well informed, it will also help should the same issue pop up again.