If you own a car, you know how terrifying it can be for your car to break down. You may have to spend lots of money to hire a mechanic, or you may end up using all your energy and time to do it yourself. Both of these are annoying, but you may have a better auto repair experience after you’ve read these tips.
You don’t want rust to attack your car so take the time to wash it on a regular basis. All cars are going to rust, so make sure that you wash your vehicle at least once a month. Make sure you regularly wax your car so that you protect the paint.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. Assemble a kit that has tools for changing tires, charging the battery and putting more gas in the car. Also pack a few blankets, some batteries, and a good flashlight.
If your headlights look dimmer than they used to, be sure they’re clean. Sometimes there is grease and/or dirt on it, and it reduces the brightness of the light. Use a quality glass cleaner to keep your lights clean.
Learn to change your taillights and headlights. While it’s easier in some vehicles than others, it’s a whole lot cheaper to do it yourself. See if someone you know can tell you how it’s done.
Prior to giving your car to a shop, know the costs of repairs. If you don’t understand something, clarify your concerns with the mechanic or service adviser before they work on the car. You don’t want to get the car back, only to be shocked at how much the repairs cost you.
Put reminders on your calendar that tell you when to have your oil changed. You have to change it regularly to keep your car running smoothly. Neglecting this part of your car can reduce the lifespan of your car.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. Always have a buddy to help you. Buy tools that are of a good quality so they’re not going to break when you use them. Tire changing equipment definitely needs to be high grade. Keep in mind that the jack you use needs to safely hold the car up, especially when you go under the car. A hydraulic floor jack featuring approved stands is best for these situations.
If you are considering working with a new auto repair shop, ask the mechanic if they are experienced in working with your specific vehicle. If they have, there is a good chance they will be able to repair your car.
Think about snapping some photos of your entire car prior to bringing it in for repairs somewhere. This way if you suspect something has been removed without your approval, you have photographic proof. You are safer if you have documentation of the condition of your car prior to having any work done on it.
Look for the warning signs that your mechanic is not as competent as you might hope. If they give you the runaround or ignore any questions, you may not want them. It’s best to feel that you trust your repair person, so don’t hesitate to move on.
Even if you think your vehicle just has a minor issue, it pays to get it looked at just the same. A small problem could be a symptom of a larger issue.
Warranties are vital when your car gets fixed, particularly if your parts are expensive. You should ask your mechanic about the warranty on the parts they order for you. Figure out what the warranty covers and if you can get a copy of it so that you can look over it.
You may not be a mechanic, but your trunk should always have a spare tire and a jack at the very least. They are usually included when you buy a car. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. It is much easier and inexpensive to do it yourself.
Don’t let a mechanic talk you into getting your car’s engine flushed when it doesn’t need it. Sometimes, a technician will try to pressure you into paying more money than you should.
Dealer mechanics are costly, but often the right way to go. You can rest assured that the technician working on your car is a specialist who know their way around your model. It’s easy for them to diagnose and repair any problems your car may have. They are in regular training programs.
Whenever you put gas in your vehicle, take a minute to measure your tire pressure. Check for foreign debris that may be embedded in your tires too. If you see something wrong, make sure to fix the problem immediately. You don’t want to take any chances by driving with weak tires.
Use an accordion file folder to contain all auto service receipts and keep this folder in your car. Either divide these files by the type of repair that is done, or chronologically arrange them so that you have the most recent receipt on the top of the file. No matter which way you choose, having complete car records can help the mechanic when you need more repairs and help you if you aren’t satisfied with a repair. This is particularly valuable when it is time to sell your car.
Get a written estimate if the quote is much over one hundred dollars. Written proof can prove to be invaluable to settling any disagreement you may have with the mechanic. Also, the mechanic won’t be able to tack on additional expenses without talking to you first.
When you get parts replaced on your car, you should pay attention to the warranty that comes with the part. Ask the mechanic about warranties on these parts. Figure out what the warranty covers and if you can get a copy of it so that you can look over it.
When your mechanic hems and haws over a written estimate, don’t use him. If the work is not up to par, it is difficult to have any recourse with nothing in writing to back you up.
There are some shops that do devious things to your car if you are not paying attention. They do this to make money off of those who do not know enough to check. Prior to taking the car in, mark your tires with a bit of chalk. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Auto repair isn’t always fun, but you can do things to make repairs smoother. The information in this piece goes a long way toward making sure you have a positive experience in terms of auto repair. You and the car should be pleased with the results.