Your car is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and not knowing anything about auto repair will just make that investment more expensive. You should familiarize yourself with your vehicle, and learn certain tricks that can help you with it. Continue reading so that you can save yourself both time and money.
It is not always necessary to call a repairman when you have car trouble. There are many things you can fix easily. You can always go online and try to diagnose the problem and educate yourself to the possibilities. If the job is not complicated, make the repairs yourself to save money.
You absolutely need a good emergency kit inside your vehicle. This kit will include the necessary tools for successfully charging a battery, changing a tire and adding gas to your tank. You may also want to add some batteries, a flashlight and a few blankets in the event that you break down at night.
Ask your mechanic is he is familiar with working on your car. If they have worked on the same type vehicle you have, they will know which areas to check first on your car.
Take the time to read your car manual and know the basics of how your car works. When you show up to a mechanic’s shop, you are going to have to explain some information about your car. The issue may be very simple to fix, saving you time and money.
Be sure and regularly check your radiator. Simply run the engine a few minutes and then cut the engine and lift the hood. Do not open the radiator if the car is running. Look at the coolant you have in your radiator by checking it with a dipstick but remember that coolant usually needs to be mixed with water before putting it into your vehicle.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. This will help the technician when you get future repairs on your car. You might end up paying more if you don’t have them, because it will be more difficult to diagnose the issue.
Be careful that your mechanic does not attempt to perform unneeded repairs. A good mechanic should let you know if they noticed parts that are starting to get worn down and will need to be replaced soon but they should not replace the part without your approval. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.
Test drive your vehicle after repairs before paying the auto repair shop. If you do not do this, you may have the same issue when you get home.
Look for the warning signs that your mechanic is not as competent as you might hope. If a mechanic is not giving you straight answers or cannot explain repairs in details, you should keep looking. Make sure that you trust the person that you are working with.
Remember that DIY auto repair may be quite dangerous. Always have a buddy to help you. It’s worth your money to spend more on a higher quality tool. When it comes to the tools you use to change a tire, this is vital. Keep in mind that a jack needs to securely hold up your vehicle, especially if you’re going to be under it. That’s why it’s smart to use a good hydraulic floor jack with approved jack stands.
Before dropping your car off for repairs, remove any valuables. The mechanic might have to remove certain items, and they won’t be liable if it goes missing. The same is true of your trunk or the bed of your truck.
Each time you fill up with petrol, take the time to look at your tire pressures. Closely inspect your tires to ensure nothing is wrong with them. If you notice problems, resolve them immediately. It is very dangerous driving on bad tires.
Be sure that mechanic has certification. You should be sure they have been approved by the ASE. If they have this approval, you know they are skilled and will probably get the results you desire.
Check to see that your technician knows what he is doing. When they don’t listen to what you say or talk to you in circles, they’re probably a scammer. Run, don’t walk, to another mechanic.
Unfortunately, some repair shops aren’t honest. They will take off your tires, only to put others on that aren’t as good. This is done for profiting from ignorance. Prior to taking your car to the garage, use chalk to mark your tires. This can help you see if your tires have been properly rotated or switched out for older tires.
If money is especially tight and you are desperate to get your car repaired, consider contacting the auto repair department of your local vocational school. You will be giving students a learning experience as their teacher looks on to be sure the job is right.
Ask if your intended mechanic is experienced with the make and model of your car. Cars can differ significantly, even if the general mechanical principles are the same. A luxury SUV is quite different from a hybrid Prius, for example. If you don’t think the shop you are going to really knows what they are doing, take your car to the dealer instead.
If you are worried about no one being there when you need auto repairs, sign up for AAA. From getting a tow truck fast to dealing effectively with a garage, AAA can provide drivers with tons of assistance. The discounts they provide will end up saving you money over time.
For simple things, such as adding oil and windshield wiper fluid to your vehicle, there is no reason that you cannot do these things on your own. It’s a misconception that everyday maintenance must be performed by a professional repair shop. Realize what you’re getting yourself into, but don’t be afraid to get dirty!
Make a DIY kit to store in the trunk to help you in times of need. You will want to have the tools necessary to change a tire, and they likely came with the vehicle. A lug wrench and a jack are essential. You may ask want to get a variety of screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches and the like. Don’t buy low-quality tools. Purchase solid tools that are resistant to breakage.
After you pay a mechanic and let them replace something on your vehicle, ask if you can get the old part back. If your mechanic cannot show you the parts, you have no way of knowing if the parts have actually been replaced. This is a red flag that should be raised.
If a mechanic won’t give you a written estimate, don’t get work done. 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.
Do not forget about your windshield wiper blades. If you see that the wipers aren’t cleaning effectively, a new pair is in your future. You should replace wiper blades at least once a year or more often if you live in an area where rain is commonplace or if you notice your wiper blades are worn out.
If you ask a mechanic for a quote, make sure he itemizes different fees. You can then easily compare fees between different mechanics and make sure the estimates cover the same items. Parts will more than likely cost the same unless a mechanic is being dishonest. Focus on the cost of service to compare repair shops.
Educate yourself about your car so you know more about how it works. You will only be able to sidestep the mechanic if you possess a bit of auto repair knowledge yourself. The less money you have to spend on tire and oil changes, the better.
Speak with people you know to see how they deal with repairing their vehicles. They can help point you in the right direction if so. It is still important to do your homework. At least try to find some online reviews on the shops that they recommend.
As previously stated, the more you know about the basics of vehicle maintenance and repair, the better off you will be. Teach others what you know, and do not hesitate to go to a mechanic if you are not skilled enough to fix your problem. So keep these tips handy, and next time, you will be able to repair your car yourself.