You depend on your car to be able to go to work, run errands and do many other things. Perhaps you’re not sure if you know enough about cars, but are willing to learn. If that is the case, continue reading to learn simple maintenance tips.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. This kit will include the necessary tools for successfully charging a battery, changing a tire and adding gas to your tank. Also pack a few blankets, some batteries, and a good flashlight.
Prior to letting a mechanic touch your vehicle, ensure that they are A.S.E certified. They have passed tests and have at least two years experience under their hat. This type of mechanic is the best choice for your vehicle.
Monitor your radiator. To do this, you need to allow your car to run several minutes, and then turn off the engine. You are now ready to open up your hood. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Look to see what the fluid level is (use a dipstick), and remember that coolant needs to have a bit of water added prior to entering your radiator.
Ask for referrals to find a great mechanic. Ask the people you know for their recommendations. This gives you the opportunity to find out about costs and the overall quality you can expect. People will let you know how their experience went.
Be aware of all of the costs prior to handing your keys over to the mechanic. If you don’t understand something, make sure to clarify it first. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises when you get your bill.
Make sure to study your owners manual. This will help you when it comes time for you to visit your mechanic if a major problem occurs. You may also find answers to your problems, inside.
You car records need to be kept on hand. The glove compartment is a good place to keep these records. The people repairing your automobile are going to need to look over these records. They aid in speeding up the diagnosing process.
You do not have to contact a mechanic every time you have issues with your car. Many things can be easily fixed. If you are game, consider doing some online research to diagnose the issue. If it is a simple fix, you can usually do it yourself.
Every time your car is repaired, make sure you keep records of the event. If your car ends up with more problems later on, your mechanic will appreciate having access to your past records. The records can help the mechanic determine the problem.
See if you can find reviews about the body shop of your choice on the Internet. These reviews will inform you of the company’s quality, customer service satisfaction rates, etc. You can use the information to find a place you’ll feel comfortable spending your money at.
Go over your owner’s manual and dog ear the most useful pages. This will help you when it comes time for you to visit your mechanic if a major problem occurs. You might even find some easy solutions for the issues you have been encountering.
Ask for parts that are classified as OEM parts. These parts are the genuine article, produced by your car’s original manufacturer. Generic parts may cost less, but you cannot really tell if they are the best quality. It may seem like you are getting a deal now, but it may end up costing you a lot in the future.
Do not leave valuable items in the interior of your car if you need to leave it at the repair shop. Your mechanic may need these parts removed so that they can make repairs. If you discover missing items later, they hold no liability. Also, be sure to remove everything from the trunk.
Check out reviews about body shops online. This will give you an idea of how the public likes their customer service, and how well they are at fixing problems. This will help you to weed out garages that could leave you with concerns over quality and workmanship.
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. Use a quality glass cleaning product and improve the situation dramatically.
Know what the lights on your dash represent. Paying attention to these warnings is always in your best interest. Yes, there are sometimes false positives, but it is risky to ignore these warning lights. If you do so, a problem can get worse and become more costly to fix.
Make sure you are receiving OEM parts. This means that they’ve come directly from the manufacturer. It’s cheaper to get the generic parts, but the quality may not be the same. What may seem like a deal now can cost twice as much as buying OEM in the first place.
Do not forget that fixing your car yourself comes with some dangers. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Get high-quality tools that will not break while you’re working. This holds true particularly in the case of the tools needed for changing tires. 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.
If your car has been having a small problem that you think is minor, it may be a good idea to have it checked out anyway. A small problem could be a symptom of a larger issue.
Look out for obvious “red flags” when dealing with a new auto repair company. When they don’t listen to what you say or talk to you in circles, they’re probably a scammer. Having a mechanic you can trust is extremely important; don’t waste your time with one who can’t make you confident in his skills.
OEM is something that means Original Equipment Manufacturer. Whenever you have to have parts replaced, keep this term in mind. Your mechanic will consider you as a knowledgeable customer if you ask for OEM parts. Your mechanic will not try using second hand parts if you ask for OEM parts.
Save the receipts from all your car repairs in a single file. File them by work done, or timeline order. However you sort them, you’ll have your car’s history on hand should you need it when out on the road. This will be very valuable to keep in mind.
Do not forget about your windshield wiper blades. If your windshield wipers are no longer keeping the rain off your windshield, or if they make noise or leave streaks, it is time to replace them. In general, new wipers should be put on your car about every twelve months.
Any quote over $200 needs to be provided in writing. Getting the estimate in writing can help you if ever you have to complain about the mechanic. Another advantage to the estimate is that you can ensure the mechanic will focus only on the repairs needed and not extras.
As stated earlier, it is important for you to take care of your vehicle. Even knowing how to do simple maintenance may save you tons of money instead of going to a mechanic. When your car isn’t running right and you think it may need repairs, remember these tips.
Be sure that you’re reminding yourself of oil changes when your vehicle requires one. Oil has to be changed often for a car to perform properly. Be sure to remember this, because making sure you get an oil change on time can help extend your vehicle’s life.