Your car may be your most valuable possession, because you need it to travel to every place you go to. You might not be knowledgeable about cars, but that’s fine, as you can learn more about them. If this sounds like you, then this article is going to teach you what to do if you need some simple maintenance done.
Keep a good battery charger on hand at all times. This will be very useful in case your battery dies or if you run into someone who needs help with their battery. It is important to not only have the battery charger but to know how it works as well in case you are alone.
Do not hire a mechanic until you are sure they have experience with this particular make and model. If the answer is yes, that’s a very good thing.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable auto mechanic. Speak with others you know to see if they can recommend someone to you. This gives you the opportunity to find out about costs and the overall quality you can expect. You’ll get a real feel for the experience and the honesty of the mechanic.
If your headlights are not shining as brightly, check to see if they are clean. Dirt from driving can build up on your headlights and block some light. Use a quality glass cleaner to keep your lights clean.
If you do not have headlights that are shining bright enough, you may need to clean them. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. You will be able to see well when using a reliable glass cleaner.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your trunk. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. Buy a jack if your car does not already have one equipped. Also have a few tools like a socket set, both a regular and Phillips head screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a torque wrench. Never buy really cheap tools. Get high quality tools that will be able to withstand the test of time.
Try finding a reliable mechanic who works from their own garage. If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, and they will usually charge you less for labor. This can help the home mechanic out and save you a lot of money over the charges of bigger repair shops.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. Your car probably came with what you need to change a tire. You need to purchase a lug wrench and a jack if you do not have them. You should probably get a few screwdrivers with various shapes as well as different wrenches like for this kit. You don’t want to settle for buying cheap tools. Instead, you should obtain solid tools that don’t break whenever you really need them.
Take all the fluffy and fun key chains off, or remove the car key. The ignition in your car can’t withstand too much extra weight, even if that weight doesn’t seem excessive to you. If your key starts sticking, you need to get new tumblers and no longer use that little troll head keychain!
It pays to keep track of your regularly scheduled oil changes. The oil should be replaced after so many miles, and it is important that you keep track. If your oil is not changed on a regular basis, your car may not last as long as it could.
If you have to have a big repair done, get multiple estimates. Although most repair shops can be trusted, you do not want to have to spend some more unnecessary repairs. Shop around for shops with a good reputation and experience in your vehicle’s make. These shops are the best ones to use.
Keep your car washed during the winter. Believe it or not, the winter months are tough on your vehicle. In particular, it can cause the car to rust. To be sure that ice doesn’t build up, make sure the car gets dried after washing it.
Your tire pressure should be checked when purchase some gas. Make sure that your tires are not punctured in any way. If anything is wrong with your tires, the problem needs to be addressed quickly. You should not risk driving with less-than-perfect tires.
Replacing a burnt-out headlight or taillight is much cheaper when you do it by yourself. It’s easier to do in some cars, but it’s more cost effective than hiring a mechanic. Speak with people that you’re familiar with if you know they’re good at repairs.
Before going to a mechanic, educate yourself on the standard classifications of car parts. Parts have classifications, including salvaged, new, and re-manufactured and reconditioned. New parts just mean that they are designed according to the specifications of the manufacturer. Buying a rebuilt or reconditioned part means the part has been damaged and fixed in the past. Salvaged parts have been used and have not been restored in any way.
It is common for folks to seek repairs for one issue, only to be told that their car has additional problems. This is a tactic used by businesses that can cost you a lot of money. Let them know you will be in touch, and look around for a better deal.
Avoid fluffy, silly keychains, or find a way to separate your auto key from that bunch of keys on the chain! The weight of your keychain can cause problems for your ignition. The last thing that you want is your key to stick, so try to reduce weight immediately.
Store auto repair records in a file folder kept in the vehicle. Divide them by repair, preventative care and maintenance or a chronology system. That will allow both you and your mechanic to keep track of what has already been done to your car. All in all, it will come in handy.
If the mechanic does not want to provide you with a written cost breakdown, find someone else to do the job. If mistakes are made, you may not be able to recover the damages since you do not have a contract on the work he did.
Be sure that the technician you choose is certified. One to look for is the certification given by the NIAE. This demonstrates the mechanic has shown a level of competence. A person with this certification will more than likely give you good service.
When speaking with a mechanic, always ask questions. Don’t just see how much things will cost; speak over everything else that you should know when you get repairs. Is there an estimate available for the amount of time that will be involved? What’s being worked on? Ask about the cost of the parts. Be thorough in your questioning. This is essential information to have.
Go to the same auto repair shop once you find a reliable one. Get to know your mechanic and keep bringing your vehicle back if you are satisfied with the service you get. You might also receive a loyalty discount.
Some untrustworthy shops will give you old tires in the place of your original tires. This is done so they can profit from your ignorance. Mark your tires before you drop your car off. After the repair is complete, check to see that the chalk is still on your tires.
When getting auto repairs, ask the mechanic to return the old parts. This can help you feel comfortable that the repairs have really been done. This is not necessary for some repairs, like exhaust systems. It is easy to ascertain that your exhaust system has been replaced.
As this article said to you before, you really must be sure to take care of your vehicle. Even learning simple maintenance can save you a lot of money from going to the mechanic. Use these tips for the next time your vehicle starts acting weird or you start worrying about it.
Consistency is key in the auto repair world. Try to use a trusted auto repair shop and avoid hopping from repair center to repair center. You might not get good results if you let many different mechanics maintain your vehicle. Also, you will see that different shops will charge different rates.