When you have the keys to your car, the world is your oyster. You are free to move about the country as you please. Though, this also means that if your vehicle develops trouble, you can find yourself stranded. Read on for some tips that can help you deal with this type of situation.
Talk with your technician to determine if they have worked on your car before. This will give you a better idea of their experience and the skills that they bring to the table.
Mechanics should have ASE certification before you hire them. An ASE certification means your mechanic has a minimum of two years’ experience in auto repairs. This certification also requires that he or she passes a written test. This tells you that the mechanic is qualified to work on your car.
It is a good idea to use referrals to find a decent mechanic. Get recommendations from family and friends. Ask about the quality of the work, what it cost and what perks were offered. You can find out about the experience with a mechanic and if they can be trusted or not.
Thoroughly review your car manual. Do not hesitate to let your mechanic know about what you learned from the owner’s manual. You may figure out, that when the manual is read that your issue is something you may be able to fix on your own.
An emergency kit is a crucial item to have handy in your car. You should put together a kit that includes the tools you need to change a tire, charge your battery and put more gas in your tank. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.
Have records for your car on hand. The glove compartment is a good place to keep these records. Professional mechanics are going to ask for those records. This will help them assess the problem quicker and more precisely.
Every time you’re going to have an automobile repaired, you have to get a record of what is done to it. Future problems can be easily solved when auto technicians have access to past records. Without these records, you may have to pay more money, and it may be harder to find where the problem is coming from.
Monitor your radiator. Let the car idle for a short period first, but only long enough to let the fluid circulate. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. 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.
Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. They should contact you before doing any extra work. Do not take your care twice to a mechanic who performed some unnecessary repairs.
Always try to figure out the problem with your car before you bring it in for repairs. Being able to diagnose the problem, even if you can’t fix it, can help you from being fleeced by an unscrupulous mechanic. Some mechanics are dishonest and will say the problem is more serious than it actually is.
Regular washing of your car will help prevent it from rusting. Rust will happen, but you can slow things down by keeping the car clean. Make sure to wax your car so as to protect the paint.
Assemble a DIY auto repair tool kit to keep in the trunk of your car. Your tool kit should have equipment to change a tire and other necessary items. If the necessary lug wrench and jack are missing, replace them. A Philips head as well as flat head screwdriver should be helpful, plus socket and adjustable wrenches. You should not have cheap tools. Get good, sturdy tools that won’t break when you need them the most.
You should always test drive your vehicle after getting some repairs done on it. This way you can avoid paying for repairs that were not finished correctly. If you don’t do this, it’s possible that the problem isn’t even fixed.
Check around for a reputable mechanic by asking friends who are happy with their mechanic. These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. You can save tons of money and provide an independent worker by providing them with business.
Get rid of any unnecessary key-chains that are attached to your car keys. The weight of your keychain can cause problems for your ignition. Too much weight on your keychain can cause your key to stick.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These are original manufacturer parts. Although using generic parts may provide some short-term savings, it’s impossible to know whether or not they’ll hold up as well as OEM parts. What could be a good deal in the present won’t always be the best thing to for you later, so try using OEM parts when you’re able to.
Warranties are extremely important when it comes to auto repairs, particularly if you’ve purchased expensive parts. Therefore, when a mechanic orders parts for your vehicle, you should ask him or her about their warranties. Figure out what the warranty covers and if you can get a copy of it so that you can look over it.
Be sure a mechanic is properly certified. You should especially check for the A.S.E Seal of Approval from the Nat’l Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Viewing such credentials should leave you feeling fairly confident about the service you will receive.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. Many cars will come with these straight off of the dealership’s floor. You would hate to be stuck out in the road and be forced to spend money on a tow. It is cheaper and easier when you do it on your own.
If your brakes are having issues and you try to correct the problem, always bleed them before you start the car back up again. Then pump out the brake fluid. Look for leaks and make sure the fluid will not run out. Then test drive the car on a road that has minimal traffic. Begin slowly and gradually pick up speed to determine if the issue is fixed.
If the mechanic’s hesitant about getting you a written estimate, go elsewhere. If the work is shoddy, it will be hard for you to recover damages if you have no written contract.
Learn to change your taillights and headlights. Having a mechanic do it is horribly expensive. Ask someone you trust if he can teach you how to fix these problems.
Ask your mechanic a lot of questions. Don’t just concern yourself with the price; rather, ask about everything that has to do with the repairs. How long will this job take? What’s being worked on? What are you going to be paying for parts? Make any other inquiries you can think of. This shows you are informed, and the answers can help you in the future if the same problem comes up again.
Ask to have your old parts given back to you. Getting the old parts back is a quick test that can confirm work was indeed done on your car. For exhaust systems, this isn’t necessary. You can see whether you have a brand new exhaust system installed.
It’s wise to get car issues checked out, even when you think they’re minor. Sometimes a small symptom indicates a much larger problem.
Just because the car has stopped doesn’t mean you must spend a ton to get it repaired. Often, it is possible to repair your car yourself. Apply the tips from this article to keep your vehicle in good shape.