Knowing the fundamentals of auto repair is necessary if you regularly operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, this is not legally required, so most people never learn these basics. This article is filled with tips that will help you take good care of your vehicle over the years.
Keeping a battery charger in your car is a good safety investment. Dead batteries are a common problem, and you should always have a charger or cables on you at all times. It is also important to understand how to properly connect the charger to the battery.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Run your engine for several minutes, and then turn it off and pop your hood. Refrain from opening the radiator when your car is on. Check radiator fluid by using a dipstick and remember to dilute coolant with water prior to adding it.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. If you don’t understand something, talk to the mechanic first. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.
Keep your car records on hand. It’s wise to keep them in your glove compartment in case you need to go to a auto repair shop on the fly. Mechanics may want to see these records. This can make the process go more smoothly.
Referrals are your best best when searching for a trustworthy mechanic. Talk to your relatives, friends and co-workers to get some recommendations. Ask about how much they paid, the quality of the repairs and the customer service. You can use their experiences to determine whether a mechanic is honest or not.
Every time your car is repaired, no matter why it is, keep a record of the repair. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. Without records, you might have to pay higher costs due to taking longer to find the problem.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. Some vehicles have a simpler system than others, but you can save a lot by doing it yourself regardless of how complex your system is. Ask a friend if they’ll help you learn how its done.
Before paying an auto repair shop for work done to your car, take it for a test drive to see if it is working properly. If you don’t, you may find that you paid for nothing.
Think about locating a person that fixes vehicles and owns a garage. As long as he knows what he is doing, he can charge less for the same work. Next time your car is in need of repairs, ask around for referrals for an unlicensed but fabulous mechanic.
Be certain to understand when your oil needs changing. Your oil must be changed regularly for you car to run properly. It can vary a bit between different vehicles and cars go much longer between oil changes than they used to. But you must do them when recommended.
If you plan to take your car to the shop, do not leave anything inside the car. If your belongings are in the way of your mechanic’s repairs, they may be moved to the side, possibly even lost. The same is true of your trunk or the bed of your truck.
A daring do-it-yourself approach isn’t always the best idea. Always have someone around to assist you in case there is an emergency. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. This is particularly true with tire changing tools. If you are getting underneath your car to do some work, you want to be very certain that your jack is holding that car up properly. This is the reason why you should use a reliable hydraulic floor jack equipped with the right jack stands.
Before you go somewhere to take care of your automobile problems, learn what you can about car-part classifications. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage. “New” means the part was made to the manufacturer’s specs, by the maker or by an independent retailer. Parts that are rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured have been restored to good condition. “Salvage” refers to used parts that aren’t altered.
Try to find out whats wrong with your vehicle before calling a mechanic. You will not be duped, and you can save tons of money when you find out the problem yourself. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.
It is important to check your warranty when you are having your car repaired, especially if you need very expensive parts. Therefore, when a mechanic orders parts for your vehicle, you should ask him or her about their warranties. See how long that warranty lasts and get a printed copy of that contract to review it.
Always bleed your brakes if you have been working on them. Following this, pump the brake fluid. Test for leaks to be sure the fluid won’t run out. Now you are ready for a test drive on streets that don’t have much traffic. Drive slowly at first so that you can ensure your repairs have been performed correctly.
Ask your mechanic if he’s worked on a vehicle similar to yours. There are certain specifics which he needs to know before doing any repairs. If you are unsure, pay the extra to have a dealer do the repairs.
Always ask to keep any part that was replaced or removed from your car. If they refuse, this could mean that they didn’t replace anything. Unfortunately, this may be a warning that the mechanic is not being truthful.
Have a plastic accordion file to put all auto repair receipts inside. Divide them by repair, preventative care and maintenance or a chronology system. Either way, you will have a complete record of your car’s maintenance that will be helpful to your mechanic when more repairs are needed and helpful to you if you are dissatisfied with a repair. Keeping these resources organized will also help you keep track of just how much car maintenance is costing you over time.
Get together a kit for car repairs that you can keep in your vehicle. You’re going to need to have some tire changing tools in this kit at the very least. A good lug wrench and jack are key. You will need several screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
If your mechanic assesses the repairs to be worth more than a few hundred dollars, ask him to give you a written estimate. If you have written proof, you can easily file complaints if necessary. Your mechanic will not be tempted to add more fees to your final bill if you already have a detailed written quote.
Driving any kind of vehicle means that you’re going to need to know a few things about keeping it in great condition. It is not always common knowledge about how to attend to basic car repairs, or how to find a great mechanic. Utilize the concepts above to help your car keep running smoothly.
See if any of your friends or family members have had a positive experience at a particular auto shop. They can help point you in the right direction if so. After they give you the recommendations, be sure to research them. Go online and see what else is being said about the shop.
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