Your car may be a crucial investment since you need it to get to work and back, among other places. Perhaps you are not very knowledgeable in the automotive field. If this sounds like you, then this article is going to teach you what to do if you need some simple maintenance done.
The mechanic that you use should be A.S.E certified. Being A.S.E. certified ensures you that your mechanic has proper training and experience. This ensures that you have a capable person working on your car.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Allow your car to run for a bit and then turn it off and pop open the hood. You should never open your radiator whenever your car is turned on. With a dipstick, check your radiator fluid. Before adding more coolant remember to mix it with water.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. Be sure the kit has tools for charging the battery, adding gas to the tank, and changing tires. For night time breakdowns, make sure to include warm blankets and a flashlight with extra batteries.
Wash your car often so you can prevent rust. Although all cars rust at some point in time, it is possible to delay this from occurring by washing off salt and chemicals immediately. Protect your paint with good wax.
You must keep good track of all your car records. One good place to keep them is in a folder in the trunk right above your spare tire. Professional mechanics will ask to review the records. These documents can help the mechanic figure out the problem quicker.
Always keep a record of any maintenance done to your car. If you experience future problems with your vehicle, this past record will help the mechanic in diagnosing the problems. Without these records, you may have to pay more money, and it may be harder to find where the problem is coming from.
Be careful that your mechanic does not attempt to perform unneeded repairs. A reputable mechanic will let you know when they see something else wrong with your vehicle and they’ll give you options as to how to proceed. If a mechanic did an unnecessary repair on your car, don’t take it there again.
It is important to be aware of mechanics who make repairs that are not necessary. 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.
Make sure you are receiving OEM parts. These are original components from the manufacturer. Although generic parts are more affordable, OEM parts are better quality and will last longer. What saves you a bit of money in the short term, may end up costing you dearly in the long term.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. The majority of new cars have them automatically. You don’t need to be stuck somewhere you don’t know and need to pay a lot for towing. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.
Have you noticed that your headlights aren’t shining very brightly? If so, ensure you are cleaning them regularly. The lights can become coated with road grease and dirt, which will prevent the maximum amount of light from shining. Be sure to clean them with a strong glass solvent in order to get the best light possible.
Try finding a reliable mechanic who works from their own garage. If they are experienced and skilled, you can get the same work done at a much cheaper price. This can help the home mechanic out and save you a lot of money over the charges of bigger repair shops.
In the winter, you still need to wash your car. Your car may get dirty again quickly, but all that buildup is terrible for your car. With so much sand and salt around, you are just asking for rust and abrasion. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
Make sure any mechanic you hire knows about your particular vehicle. Basic components are usually the same, but there are big differences in different types of cars. If you aren’t sure, take your car to get serviced at the dealer.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. Should something happen, be sure someone else is around. Get high-quality tools that will not break while you’re working. This is very true for things such as tire changing tools. Also, buy a strong jack in case you need to prop your car up in an emergency. A hydraulic jack which comes with jack stands that are approved is your best bet.
Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. They feel they can get money from your ignorance. Before going in, mark up your tires with chalk. This can help you see if your tires have been properly rotated or switched out for older tires.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. Having a mechanic do it is horribly expensive. Ask someone you know if they can instruct you on how to do it.
Lookout for claims that are too good to be true. This is generally just a way to get consumers to buy those parts. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. While this does not need to be changed as often as typical fluid, you should still change it every 80,000 miles or so.
As you can now see, it’s important that you take care of your vehicle. Just by learning some basic auto repair tricks, you can save lots of money. Use the tips here and keep them in mind when your car acts strangely or you are worried about a minor problem with your car.
Never forget about your wiper blades. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.