Whenever you experience car problems, it is important that you take the necessary steps to fix them. Having a non-functioning car makes life quite difficult. But, you may not need to spend lots of money to solve the problem. Keep reading to learn more about the basic repairs you can do yourself or find out more about hiring a professional.
You need to buy a good battery charger and have it in your vehicle at all times. Dead batteries happen a lot, and you can provide assistance to others if you keep a charger on hand. Be sure you know how to correctly connect the charger clamps to your battery and the battery you are charging.
Before allowing an auto shop to do repairs to your vehicle, ensure you are aware of the total cost. If you are unclear about certain things, clarification is needed before repairs are started. Don’t find yourself stuck with extra charges later.
Always carry a good emergency kit in the trunk of your car. This kit should contain a number of items, including tools, flares, a gas container and an emergency battery charger. Also pack a few blankets, some batteries, and a good flashlight.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable auto mechanic. Ask the people you know and trust who they take their vehicles to. You can gain information about prices and level of quality. People will let you know how their experience went.
Your car should be washed regularly so that rust doesn’t become a problem. All cars will rust up eventually, but you may delay it considerably by ensuring all chemicals and salts are washed off quickly. Use a good wax to protect your paint job as much as possible.
Before taking your vehicle to an auto repair shop, check out their online reviews. This can give you a good indication of how satisfied customers are with their work. It will allow you to find a shop that has everything you’re looking for.
Avoid mechanics who charge you for repairs that are not really needed. They should contact you before doing any extra work. Never give your repeat business to a auto technician who preforms unnecessary repairs.
If possible, test drive your car prior to paying for repairs. Most people do not do this and end up with the same issues that previously existed.
Be sure that you know whether or not you have a mechanic that can help you with your vehicle. Although cars are generally similar in some ways, there are big differences between models. If you are unsure, pay the extra to have a dealer do the repairs.
Watch out for mechanics who perform unnecessary repairs on your car. A good mechanic will never perform work without getting your full approval. Avoid mechanics that have previously done work without your go ahead.
You need a spare tire and jack with you all the time. Nearly every car has them equipped standard. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. You can save money and have an easier time doing it on your own.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These parts are original and from the manufacturer. It’s cheaper to get the generic parts, but the quality may not be the same. It may seem like you are getting a deal now, but it may end up costing you a lot in the future.
You don’t want to neglect the wiper blades on your vehicle. If your windshield wipers aren’t performing up to par, it may be time for new ones. You should replace them yearly, but you may need to do it twice a year if you are located in a rainy area.
Check with your mechanic to see of they have experience working with the make of your vehicle. There are many similarities between vehicles but some issues are specific to certain makes and models. If you don’t know, pay extra to get the dealer to repair it.
Ask for labor rates or prices before hiring a mechanic. A lot of places will put rates in the fine print and so you need to read over any paperwork carefully. You must be able to tell how the repairs are being billed to you. Some shops provide repair time estimates established by manufacturers. Some minor repairs could even be an all day job.
If there are two tools all cars should have, it is a jack and lug-nut wrench. With that, you also need an extra tire. Many new cars have these. You do not want to stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to pay a ton of money for a tow. It is simpler and cheaper to handle it on your own.
Look at all lights that flash on the dashboard and learn what they mean. These warning lights are meant to help alert you to potential problems. Ignoring those for a long time can worsen issues later.
A dealer is not your only option when car repairs are necessary. There are quite a few mechanics out there, whether you get your car into one of them or do things at home yourself there are many options. Trust someone that you’re comfortable with.
Keep a DIY tool kit in your trunk. Your tool kit should have equipment to change a tire and other necessary items. If you lack a lug wrench and a jack, purchase both. Also, it is wise to have screwdrivers, a ratchet set, Phillips head screwdrivers and wrenches. Never skimp when buying tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Whenever you fill up on gas, make sure you check the pressure of your tires. Verify that there are no nails or debris sticking out. In the event that you detect a problem, you can have it repaired before you have a blowout. You don’t want to drive around with bad tires.
Talk to your mechanic about the rates that you will have to pay. Some shops have their rates in conspicuous places, so read carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. You need to know how you’re billed for the repairs. Some mechanics bill you for estimated labor times established by the manufacturers they work with. Some minor repairs might be considered as an all day job by some manufacturers.
Consistency is very important when it comes to auto repairs. Try to remain loyal to one trustworthy shop instead of taking your car to a variety of mechanics. The same mechanic will know your car inside and out and will be best qualified to work on it. They may also charge you different amount, resulting in you paying more for your repairs.
Don’t try to diagnose complicated issues. Keep in mind that you’re not a professional. A minor issue can spiral into a huge dilemma. Let the professionals do the diagnosing. Allow them to know whatever is going on with your vehicle and what kinds of noises you’ve heard and let them make the decision as to what can be done.
If you would like some security when dealing with an auto repair, consider joining AAA. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. You can often find discounts on an annual AAA membership if you shop around.
As you can see, fixing your car does not have to require taking your car to the shop and paying an arm and a leg to the mechanic. You just need to know when to DIY or get professional help. Make the most of this information so that you are not off the road for long.
Avoid repairs if a mechanic gives you a difficult time about a written estimate. If the final bill is much higher than the quote, it will be hard time to prove that the mechanic swindled you if you do not have a a written quote.