Car ownership is liberating. You can go wherever you want, at any time you want. Owning a car can also be a burden, too. Your vehicle can leave you stranded at the most inopportune time by breaking down. These tips should help to prepare you for such a situation.
Find an ASE certified mechanic if you need some repairs. Mechanics can obtain the ASE certification by taking a test and having more than two years of experience. This means a top professional is doing your repairs.
Never underestimate the value of keeping an emergency car kit handy. You should put together a kit that includes the tools you need to change a tire, charge your battery and put more gas in your tank. You may also want to add some batteries, a flashlight and a few blankets in the event that you break down at night.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. You need to allow your car to run for a couple of minutes, shut down the engine and then open up the hood. Don’t open your radiator if your car is running. Check the fluid in your radiator and always mix water with the coolant before adding it.
Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. You can use this time to tell them about the problems you have and to get answers as to what needs to be done. Learning how to prevent certain issues will help you save a lot of money.
You don’t need to call someone to repair your car each time you’re experiencing trouble. There are many things you can fix easily. Try troubleshooting the issue on the Internet or talk to your friends to see if they have an idea of what could be wrong with your vehicle. If it’s easy, you can repair the problem yourself, and save money too.
Ask for the charge total before giving mechanics your keys. Ask any questions you have about the service before they start work on the car. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected charges after the repairs are done.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable auto mechanic. 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 let you know what kind of things they had to deal with and if the person was honest.
Know your auto manual very well, or at least dog ear important pages. When you do have to deal with a mechanic, you can show him the copy of the manual, which can help him. What you think may be an issue, may not be at all according to the manual.
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself well with your car’s manual. This will help you when it comes time for you to visit your mechanic if a major problem occurs. You may even find, when you read the manual, that what you think is an issue is easily fixed.
Have a DIY kit for auto repair in your car at all times. You should definitely have the tools necessary to change a tire, if you need to. A good lug wrench and jack are key. You may ask want to get a variety of screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches and the like. Avoid cheap tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
If you’re headlights are giving off dull light, they may just be dirty. Your headlights will get covered in greasy residues if you do not clean them regularly. Clean theses with a good quality glass cleaning agent to get them as clean as possible.
If you notice your vehicle’s headlights or taillights have blown out, then it is possible to repair these issues yourself rather than visiting a mechanic in order to save money. It is easier on some vehicles than others, however no matter what type of vehicle you have it will be cheaper than hiring a mechanic for the job. Ask your friends and relatives if they can help with this small repair.
Check with your mechanic to see of they have experience working with the make of your vehicle. Cars vary greatly by make and model so it is important that your mechanic is familiar with your make and model of car. If you don’t think he has, go to the dealer.
Remove fluffy, fun key chains or have it so that your car key can be removed from the bunch. The ignition isn’t designed to hold tons of weight. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t appear heavy to you. If your key starts sticking, you need to change the tumblers and eliminate the troll buddy that’s weighing down your keychain!
Consider finding someone who repairs cars in their own garage. These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. This can help you save money but make sure that they have a good reputation.
Keep in mind that it’s not always safe to do some auto repairs. Always have a buddy nearby that can assist you if there is an emergency. Only invest in the best tools available. This definitely applies to tire changing equipment. The jack has to hold the car up without any trouble while you are working on the underside of the car. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes.
Know what all the lights stand for on your dashboard and be aware of when they go off. These symbols light up to warn you of a problem. Ignoring them for extended periods of time will only make the problem much worse than it already is.
You should check the tire pressure when you go to the gas station. 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.
If money is especially tight and you are desperate to get your car repaired, consider contacting the auto repair department of your local vocational school. You’ll get a deep discount for letting students fix your car under the watchful eye of a certified mechanic.
Make sure you become knowledgeable on standard car-part classifications before visiting a mechanic. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. “New” means the part was made to the manufacturer’s specs, by the maker or by an independent retailer. Refurbished or rebuilt parts means that these parts have been restored. Salvage means that they are used and they have not been altered.
There’s no reason why simple maintenance, such as topping off engine oil or adding windshield wiper fluid, can’t be done on your own. It’s a myth that only professional mechanics can perform routine maintenance on a car. Learn how to do the job online, which has many resources to teach you, then jump right in.
Just because your vehicle is temporarily broken down, doesn’t mean you’ve got to spend all your money on expensive repairs. You can easily fix small problems yourself once you know more about auto repairs. Use all of these tips to help you with those types of repairs.
Get a written estimate for anything a mechanic quotes over $200. Having written documentation is useful should you need to complain down the road. Mechanics aren’t as likely to charge you for unrequested repairs as well.