Having the car die while on the highway can be terrifying. This problem creates immediate hazards and now you have to find a mechanic who is able to repair your car. How can you be sure of which mechanic is best? Utilize the tips provided below in order to find the best mechanic, as well as how to spot potential warning signs that your vehicle needs repairing so that you can make small repairs yourself without the need of a mechanic.
Check your radiator often. Let the car idle for a short period first, but only long enough to let the fluid circulate. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Use your dipstick to check fluid levels and mix water with coolant ahead of pouring it in.
Bring a battery charger with you in your trunk. Dead batteries are pretty common and you can help others if you own a battery charger. Be sure you know how to correctly connect the charger clamps to your battery and the battery you are charging.
Wash your car often so you can prevent rust. All cars eventually get rusted, but the process can be delayed considerably by washing off any chemicals or salt immediately. Use a good wax to protect your paint job as much as possible.
Be aware of all of the costs prior to handing your keys over to the mechanic. 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 don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.
Check online reviews for any mechanic you’re considering. The Internet is a great resource to find out how people really feel about a certain garage. You can find a place you feel comfortable enough with to fix your car.
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 have, there is a good chance they will be able to repair your car.
Prior to paying for any repairs you’ve had done, you should go on a drive to figure out if it was really fixed. 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.
Each time you get your vehicle repaired, no matter what the reason, be sure you have a record of it. If the car has other issues later, it can help the tech see its past records. The records can help the mechanic determine the problem.
Make a DIY kit to store in the trunk to help you in times of need. The basic tools you will need include the tire changing equipment which should have come with your car. You will need to get a lug wrench and a jack if you don’t already have them. Also, you need Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, a ratchet set, and various types of wrenches. Do not waste money by getting cheap tools. Purchase solid tools that are resistant to breakage.
Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. While it is different with each vehicle, it is much cheaper to do it yourself. Ask your friends and relatives if they can help with this small repair.
Be wary of mechanics that try and make unnecessary repairs to your car. A good mechanic should let you know if they noticed parts that are starting to get worn down and will need to be replaced soon but they should not replace the part without your approval. Never take your vehicle to a mechanic that preforms unnecessary repairs.
Do not start working on DIY projects unless you are sure of yourself. Have someone assist you and make sure they are ready to react to emergencies. 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. A good quality jack is very important, particularly since you will be under the vehicle. Therefore a quality hydraulic floor jack combined with sturdy jack stands will keep you safe.
Remove valuable things from your car prior to taking it in to get fixed. 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.
Some shops steal your tires and use old tires to replace them! They prey on the ignorant, those who don’t pay much attention to their car. Mark your tires with some chalks before taking your car to an auto shop. Make sure you check your tires before you leave the garage to make sure they are the ones you drove in on.
Examine your headlights if they appear dim; they may simply need a good clean. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. Before taking your car into the mechanic for this, try giving the headlights a good cleaning first.
Don’t trust any claims that a part will last you a lifetime. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money. For instance, some cars have “lifetime” transmission fluid. It is true that this fluid lasts much longer than standard transmission fluid, but you will still need to change it out at around 80,000 miles.
Before you settle on a mechanic, inquire about their rates and prices. There are many unscrupulous mechanics who are not upfront about their costs and policies. Also find out how you are to be billed. Some shops provide repair time estimates established by manufacturers. While some things are considered minor repairs, the job may actually take all day.
Bleed your brakes before you take your car on a test drive. Then pump the brake pedal to distribute brake fluid. Test for any leaks to ensure you don’t have fluid coming out. Now you can take your car out for a test drive on roads with light traffic. Start slow to ensure nothing is wrong.
Make sure that you clean your car in the winter as well. Believe it or not, the winter months are tough on your vehicle. Salt and sand lead to rust and abrasions. Wash your car thoroughly and dry it to keep ice from forming on it.
A lot of auto repair is based on people being consistent in what they do. If you have a mechanic that you trust, then stick with them. Every shop will vary in what they do and how they treat your vehicle. They will provide different estimates, too.
Understand that visiting your dealer for auto repair work is not always necessary. You should be able to find reliable mechanics in your area, either by going to a repair shop or an independent garage. If you are more comfortable with one of them, by all means use them.
When your receive a mechanic’s diagnosis, ask them for a couple hours prior to deciding if you want your vehicle fixed. Contact other shops or dealerships to ask what they charge for the repairs the first shop is advocating. If you are able to find a better price, you might owe the shop some diagnostic labor, but you will not be stuck with an overpriced repair.
Prior to having a car repaired, take pictures of all parts of it. Though the majority of such shops are trustworthy, some shops strip vehicles for profit. Because of this, it is advisable to get proof of what you vehicle looked like before it goes to the shop, just in case.
Listen to any sounds your vehicle makes. Noise can be a crucial sign that your vehicle is having a problem. Being able to describe the sounds and problem to your mechanic can save you much on labor costs.
Check to see that the technician is certified. Particularly, make sure they are approved by the NIAE and other licensing boards. This indicates that they are properly trained and will give you quality service.
Make sure you ask a mechanic plenty of questions. In addition to asking about price, ask about everything regarding this repair. How long does the repair take to complete? Ask about the kind of work done to your vehicle. How much will it cost you? Ask whatever questions you have. Learning more about the issue is useful in case the problem arises again in the future and to show the mechanic you are informed.
It can be tough to ferret out a really good car repair shop. Educating yourself on the topic makes finding one much easier. The more you know about what is going on, the better off you are. Keep this advice in mind if you have issues later.
If an auto body shop does good work for you, then you need to return there every time. Build a good relationship with a mechanic to ensure you get good work. By sticking with one mechanic, you may also be eligible for discounts on future work, as well.