If your car broke down, you should focus on getting it working again. Not having a reliable vehicle will make your entire life complicated. But, you may not need to spend lots of money to solve the problem. Keep reading to learn more about the basic repairs you can do yourself or find out more about hiring a professional.
Have a battery charger in your car at all times. Having a car battery die is a common problem, so keeping a battery charger in your car can help you and others in this situation. Before you drive again, figure out how to use it properly.
Keeping a good battery charger in your vehicle is always a wise choice to avoid being stranded. The problem of a low or dead battery is very common, and if you keep a charger in your car you can assist other drivers with the problem. Find out where to connect the charger to your car.
Before giving your car keys to the service department, make sure you know what the cost for the repair will be. Should you need clarification about the repairs, speak with the service manager or your mechanic before work begins. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
Leave nothing in your car when you take it to the shop. The mechanic might need to move these things so they can do the job, and they won’t assume responsibility if anything comes up missing. Remove all items from the trunk too.
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. Never open the radiator while the car is on. Check how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.
Examine your headlights if they appear dim; they may simply need a good clean. Residue can diminish their light output. Before taking your car into the mechanic for this, try giving the headlights a good cleaning first.
Watch out for mechanics that don’t know what they’re doing. If they avoid your questions or give you the run around, they may not be reliable. Only choose someone you trust.
Look up your local body shop’s reviews online. This will give you an idea of how the public likes their customer service, and how well they are at fixing problems. Use these reviews to eliminate unreliable mechanics and make a list of mechanic you want to contact to get a quote.
Keep a tool kit for doing auto repairs in your trunk. You’re going to need to have some tire changing tools in this kit at the very least. You need to get yourself a lug nut wrench and a jack, as well. Basic tools such as screw drivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, torque wrench and other basic tools are also handy to have. Don’t get cheap tools. If you buy high quality tools, they will not break when you really need them.
Ask for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These parts are the genuine article, produced by your car’s original manufacturer. Generic are cheaper, but also less reliable. Getting a good deal on generic parts means you might have to purchase the same parts again and pay a mechanic to change them within the next few years.
When you have a burnt out light on your car, it can save you some money if you’re able to repair it yourself. It is simple to do on some cars and can save you a lot of money. Ask for help from friends and family.
See if any of your friends or family members have had a positive experience at a particular auto shop. Your relatives or friends may be able to tell you what they recommend so you can locate service more easily. After they give you the recommendations, be sure to research them. You should at least check out the mechanic’s reputation online.
Make sure your headlights are clean if they don’t look as bright. Sometimes, dirt from the road transfers over to your lights dim them. A good quality glass cleaner will help to clean them right up.
Repairing your car yourself could be hazardous. Always have somebody nearby to help you just in case of an emergency. Purchase quality tools you know will last. This is very important for the tools you need to change a tire. Do not forget that you are relying on your jack to support your car while you work beneath it. Hydraulic floor jacks with a stand should definitely be considered for purchase.
Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. Most shops would not strip your car, but there are those who do this to make extra money. It is better to document what your vehicle looks like just in case this horrible thing happens to you.
You ought to always have a spare and a jack in the car. A majority of cars come equipped with them. There is nothing worse than being stranded far from home and having to get an expensive tow. You do the job yourself with less time and expense.
You should always get a good warranty when investing in new expensive parts. A mechanic should be asked about if they know whether or not there’s a warranty on any of the parts they’re going to order. Ask about the lentgh of time of the warranty and for a contract in writing to review it.
Be sure your mechanic has proper certification. You want to see that he or she has credentials indicating that they know how to work on vehicles properly. This indicates that they are properly trained and will give you quality service.
Replace your light bulbs on your own. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it. See if you can get instructions from someone you trust.
Sometimes a mechanic will recommend you do an engine flush, but this is not usually a required maintenance procedure. This service is expensive, and unless you’ve failed to change the oil on time regularly or something similar, you are not in need of this service.
Do not believe claims that any auto part will last for a lifetime. This may simply be a money making racket. Some cars, for example, do come equipped with transmission fluid proclaiming to last a lifetime. Although this type of fluid doesn’t require changing very often, it should still be changed about every 80,000 miles. Therefore, the lifetime claim is false.
You shouldn’t forget about your wiper blades. If you notice your windshield wipers are not working properly, get new ones. Try to replace these blades once a year so that you can drive safely in the rain.
You should get a plastic file to store all your receipts for repairs and keep it in your vehicle. You may divide them by maintenance or repair type or use reverse chronology where most recent receipts are at the top. That will allow both you and your mechanic to keep track of what has already been done to your car. When you sell you car, it can come in handy as well.
You can fix your car on your own sometimes, while other times, you’ll need a mechanic. You may be able to fix your car yourself. Use what you have learned here to get your vehicle back on the highway again.
Always shop around and get a second opinion before paying for an expensive repair. A few shops hide their rates, so make sure to read the fine print and ask questions whenever necessary. You have a right to know how much a repair will cost and what it will consist of. Some service shops have estimated times for repair, establish by the manufacturers. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.