In many circumstances, auto repair really isn’t as hard as you may think. The more you know about auto repair, the better off you will be. Learn how to repair your car yourself and avoid trips to the repair shop.
Keep a good battery charger on hand at all times. People commonly experience dead batteries, making battery chargers good for helping stranded drivers. Familiarize yourself with how the charger hooks up to your battery.
Before making your payment to the mechanic when picking up your car, take it out for a spin first to check that everything is working. A lot of people forget to test drive their vehicle and pay for repairs that did not really fix their problem.
Ask for the charge total before giving mechanics your keys. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. You do not want to be surprised with added charges when you are handed the final bill.
Your car should be washed regularly so that rust doesn’t become a problem. All cars will eventually rust out, but you can delay the process considerably by making sure any salt or chemicals are washed off as soon as possible. Wax the paint job to protect it.
Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. A reputable mechanic will let you know when they see something else wrong with your vehicle and they’ll give you options as to how to proceed. If a mechanic tries to charge you for unneeded repairs, find another mechanic.
Go through your automobile’s manual and make sure to mark important pages. Your mechanic will need the manual for certain information. You can find the information you need to know in your owner’s manual.
Buy OEM parts. OEM parts means that part was produced by the manufacturer specifically for your make and model of vehicle. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. A cheap, generic part is less of a bargain if it only lasts half as long as an OEM part would.
Request OEM parts. These are original components from the manufacturer. While generic parts may be cheaper, you’ll never know how good the quality is. It may cost you more in the end to use generic parts even though you save money now.
If you’re headlights don’t appear to be as bright as they once did, you may want to check their cleanliness. Sometimes there is grease and/or dirt on it, and it reduces the brightness of the light. Use a quality glass cleaning product and improve the situation dramatically.
When visiting a repair shop, be mindful of warning signs that the shop is not a good one. If your mechanic talks in confusing terms or tells you not to worry about the details, then it may be time to find one who you have confidence in.` You need to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so don’t be afraid to choose another one.
Never leave any valuables in your car when it is getting repaired. The mechanic might need to clean out the car before performing repair work, and your personal items could be lost. Empty the trunk too.
You should have a do-it-yourself repair kit in your car at all times. The tools you need include tire changing equipment, which usually come with a car. You should also have a lug wrench and a jack. You will need several screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Never buy really cheap tools. You want tools that are reliable and up to the task at hand.
A mechanic who has his own shop is worth considering. 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.
Has your mechanic worked on your model of vehicle before? 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 cannot be sure, just take the car to a dealership.
Be sure you know how often the oil needs changing. You can put yourself in danger if you do not get your oil changed regularly. Failing to get routine oil changes will shorten you car’s life, so set reminders if necessary.
It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. Winter can be the most damage causing time of the year for your car. The sand and salt from winter leads to rust and abrasion. After washing your car, dry it thoroughly to prevent ice formation.
Replacing the bulbs on your taillights or headlights yourself can save you both time and money. It’s easier to do in some cars, but it’s more cost effective than hiring a mechanic. Speak with friends and family for pointers or instructions.
Whenever you fill up on gas, make sure you check the pressure of your tires. Take a look at each tire and be sure they are free of any debris. If you notice a problem, seek repairs immediately. The outcome of driving on damaged tires can be fatal.
Take photos of your car ahead of a visit to the garage. Most shops are reputable but there are always a few bad apples out there. You are safer if you have documentation of the condition of your car prior to having any work done on it.
A mechanic who has his own shop is worth considering. Provided the experience and skills are there, this may be a much less expensive option to chose from. This is a good way of saving money while investing in your local community.
Even if the problem you are having seems minor to you, have it looked at by a professional. Ignoring small issues can sometimes cause them to grow larger.
It is important to check your warranty when you are having your car repaired, especially if you need very expensive parts. If your mechanic orders parts for you, ask about warranties. Inquire as to how long it is for and also ask for a hard copy of the contract for your review.
Be sure to change your oil often enough. Oil changes are important so your car can run smoothly. In the long run, omitting this important step could cost you thousands of dollars, and it could lead your vehicle to an early death.
Have you read your car’s manual? There is a lot of information in this book that can help you. This little book holds a lot of information about your vehicle.
Knowledge of your car’s parts is key to recognizing issues. You might even consider taking a class on auto repair. While you may not wish to pay for a class, becoming educated on the basics of cars can save you lots of money later since you’ll know how cars work. This will enable you to better service your car which will help it last longer.
Educate yourself about questions to ask your mechanic before you go to the shop. There are a few different kinds of parts. “New” means that they just arrived from the manufacturer, meeting the standards set out by that company. Parts that are re-manufactured or rebuilt have been restored to perform like new. Salvage means that they are used and they have not been altered.
If you need to put your car in storage, you can avoid having to pay for repairs by placing the car on jack stands and filling the tank. Place your car in a dry area during storage, to avoid rust. Also, leave the parking brake off.
Don’t ever put water in the windshield wiper compartment. The system could be damaged by using water rather than the special cleaning fluid that it is designed to use. Check the compartment often to refill it as necessary. Even though the compartment may be empty, don’t add water.
You should not try diagnosing complex problems. Cars are complex and it takes expertise to fix them. It may seem like an easy fix, but in modern computerized vehicles, that may not be the case. You can tell them your opinion, but leave the diagnosing of problems to the experts. Just tell them the symptoms you are experiencing, including noises or the “feel” of the car, but then let them do their job.
Automotive trouble should not be a frightening or time wasting endeavor. If you know the basics, you can do-it-yourself. You could even attend to some of the repair work yourself and save yourself some money. So keep these tips in mind if your car develops problems again.