There isn’t any kind of instinctive guide with regard to auto repair. Learn all you can and the experience can go much smoother. An automobile is a costly investment, which is why the thought of fixing it can leave you feeling stressed. However, the following tips will keep you on track.
Make sure that your mechanic is A.S.E certified before you let them work on your car. Being A.S.E. certified ensures you that your mechanic has proper training and experience. When a mechanic has this certification, you are ensured that a qualified individual is repairing your car.
Go through your automobile’s manual and make sure to mark important pages. When you need to go to an auto repair shop, the professionals you are dealing with will want to know certain information regarding your car. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.
It is important that you fully understand what all the charges will be upfront, before handing the mechanic your car keys. If you don’t understand something, talk to the mechanic first. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
You don’t have to get a mechanic in for simple repairs. Some of the work can be done on your own, as there are problems that are relatively easy to repair. It’s possible to find the information you need online. If it is a simple fix, you can usually do it yourself.
You should keep your car’s records in a handy location. You may want to store them in the glove compartment for easy access. Mechanics may want to see these records. This will allow them to figure out what the issues are quickly.
Consider using OEM parts. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. It may cost you more in the end to use generic parts even though you save money now.
See if you can predetermine your vehicle’s issue prior to attending at the mechanics. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesn’t need. An unscrupulous mechanic may exaggerate the problem or diagnose nonexistent ones to charge you more.
Look out for any mechanics that add unnecessary repairs. Your mechanic should contact you if they come across additional issues while fixing your car and get your approval before they go ahead and replace more parts. If a mechanic did an unnecessary repair on your car, don’t take it there again.
Find a mechanic who has experience with the make and model you drive. While the basic components are all the same, there is going to to be a big difference in the way say a Hummer versus a Smart car utilize the space under the hood. If you are not sure, spend the extra money and go to an authorized dealer.
You may not be a mechanic, but your trunk should always have a spare tire and a jack at the very least. New cars often come with a kit you can use to change a tire. This way you won’t get stuck anywhere and need to pay someone to tow you. Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. A majority of cars come equipped with them. Stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire is bad news. Stuck without a jack and spare tire is bad news and a big bill. You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. You need to get yourself a lug nut wrench and a jack, as well. You should probably get a few screwdrivers with various shapes as well as different wrenches like for this kit. Don’t get cheap tools. If you buy high quality tools, they will not break when you really need them.
Find out how much a mechanic charges for the repair, including labor, before you hand over your keys. Some shops have these costs in conspicuous places, so you need to carefully read and ask any questions you have if something doesn’t make sense. You have a right to know how much a repair will cost and what it will consist of. Shops also often give you estimated repair costs and times. Even a minor job might take all day.
Keep a repair kit in the car at all times. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. A lug wrench and a jack are essential. You will need several screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Do not waste money by getting cheap tools. Get good, sturdy tools that won’t break when you need them the most.
You should know and pay attention to your dashboard’s warning lights. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. If you ignore them, the problem can get worse.
Do not hire a mechanic who is not certified. Look for the seal of approval from automotive institutes. This will tell you if they are properly trained and will provide you with quality service.
Be sure to ask for detailed pricing estimates before leaving your car with a mechanic. Fees can be hidden and need to be detailed. This will give you a better idea of what you will be billed. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Some minor repairs could even be an all day job.
Some things you can do yourself, including adding oil and other fluids. It is a myth that only professional auto mechanics can do routine maintenance jobs. Learn about the process and then dive in!
Don’t hire the mechanic who diagnosed your car right away. Use this time to call other dealerships and garages to ask for quotes since you can accurately describe the repairs you need. If you find a cheaper price, pay the repair shop for their labor and take your vehicle elsewhere.
Keep in mind that it’s not always safe to do some auto repairs. Be sure someone is watching you repair the vehicle just in case something bad happens. Only invest in the best tools available. This is particularly important for tools that you use to change your tires. The jack has to hold the car up without any trouble while you are working on the underside of the car. This is why you should get a high quality hydraulic jack with stands.
Store auto repair records in a file folder kept in the vehicle. You can set your filing system any way you desire. Some people choose a chronological filing system while others may choose to divide them into the types of maintenance or repairs that were performed on the car. However you organize, those receipts can help a mechanic understand the history of your car and help you find your documentation if a repair has gone wrong. This is important to have when you get your auto repair done to save money.
Do not allow anyone to sell you any auto parts that they claim will last a lifetime. This is often simply a sneaky way for unscrupulous parts dealers to get more money out of you. For instance, some vehicles come with a claim of “lifetime” transmission fluid. This shouldn’t have to be changed quite as often as standard fluid, but it should be changed every 80,000 miles.
Do you like the idea of a good experience when your car is in need of being fixed? It’s not fun to have your car repaired, but it can be less stressful. Use the advice you’ve learned so that you have command of your auto repair needs.