Having a car gives you a great sense of freedom. It’s great to get behind the wheel of your car and be able to go anywhere at anytime. That said, your car can give up at any moment, too. Use these tips to get your car back on the road.
Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. When you’re not sure, ask until you feel clear. You don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.
Get a reliable battery charger and be sure it is always in your car. Dead batteries happen more often than you imagine, and you can help other people if you take a battery charger along in your vehicle. It is important to not only have the battery charger but to know how it works as well in case you are alone.
Get to know your owner’s manual, or take the time to note important information. This will help you speak intelligently to a technician about your car when it is time to take it in. Also, reading the manual may help you realize that the repair you need, can be done easily by you.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Use a dipstick to check the fluid level in your radiator and mix some coolant with water if you need to add more fluid.
Research any auto repair service station online. This is a good way of getting an idea on what other customers think of the mechanic’s skills and customer service. This information can be used to locate an auto repair shop that you feel is well suited to your needs.
If you’re headlights are giving off dull light, they may just be dirty. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. Use glass cleaner to clean them, and you will notice a big difference.
Get your car washed often to keep rust at bay. All cars eventually succumb to rust, however you can delay this process by washing all salt and chemicals from your car immediately. Utilize quality waxes to keep the paint looking new.
Verify that a prospective mechanic is familiar with your specific car. Although cars are generally similar in some ways, there are big differences between models. If you’re unsure about your chosen mechanic’s ability, consider having a dealer repair your vehicle.
You need your records available at all times. It’s a good idea to place them in the vehicle you drive just in case you’re in need of repairs while you’re out and about. The mechanics who work on your car might need to go through these records. This will help them assess the problem quicker and more precisely.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. Modern cars come equipped with them already. Being stuck without a spare tire and jack means you will have to get your car towed. It is simpler and cheaper to do the work yourself.
Don’t forget about your windshield wipers. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. Try to replace these blades once a year so that you can drive safely in the rain.
Every time your car is repaired, regardless of how minor the problem was, make sure you keep a record. If the car has other issues later, it can help the tech see its past records. Without them, you may end up paying for more diagnostic tests, and it will be more difficult to learn where the issue is stemming from.
Before taking your car in, ask friends for referrals. The search process can be improved with recommendations from friend and loved ones. Even after getting a few names, though, do your research. You should at least look for the company on the Internet so you can figure out how other people have felt about their services.
Know when your oil needs changing. Your car’s oil is a big part of how well it functions. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
Before paying your mechanic for any work done, make sure to take it for a short test drive first, to make sure everything is working as it should. Many people fail to do this and they end up having the same problem that they had before taking the car in to get it repaired.
Keep in mind that it’s not always safe to do some auto repairs. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. You will need these in case you ever have a flat tire. Remember that you need a jack that can hold the vehicle up especially when you need to get under it. A good investment is to purchase a hydraulic floor jack and use jack stands after elevating the car.
Take multiple pictures of your car before taking it to a new shop. Though most shops won’t strip a car, others do it to make more money. The appearance of your vehicle needs to be documented in case something bad happens.
It is important to be aware of mechanics who make repairs that are not necessary. All reputable mechanics will notify you before doing any repairs and will inform you of any parts that could require repairs in the immediate future. A mechanic who has performed this practice should never be patronized again.
Take the time to learn about car part classifications before seeing a mechanic. Learn the difference between rebuilt parts, salvage parts, and new parts. New parts just mean that they are designed according to the specifications of the manufacturer. Buying a rebuilt or reconditioned part means the part has been damaged and fixed in the past. However, salvage is simply another word for a used part.
When getting auto repairs, take all items out of your car. These items may need to be removed anyway, and they aren’t responsible for lost or missing items. Take everything out of the trunk as well.
If you are worried about no one being there when you need auto repairs, sign up for AAA. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. Many auto shops offer discounts to AAA members, so it’s well worth the membership.
A temporary car problem doesn’t have to lead to massive repair bills. Many times it is possible to fix your own problems. Make use of the preceding information to get back on the road.
If your headlights don’t seem very bright, check them to see if they are clean. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. Clean theses with a good quality glass cleaning agent to get them as clean as possible.