If you own a car, you realize how frustrating car trouble can be. However, if you learn a little about repairs and maintenance, you could find some relief in your wallet in the future. Use these tips to better your car’s longevity. You will find it useful when your car next encounters a problem.
Keep a good battery charger on hand at all times. Dead batteries are a very common problem for all car owners. Not only will you be able to charge up your battery, you can also help others whose battery has broken down. The charger has special connecting points that you should be aware of when hooking it up to a car.
Regularly check your radiator. Let the car idle for a short period first, but only long enough to let the fluid circulate. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Check the radiator fluids using a dipstick and remember to always mix the coolant with water before putting it in the radiator.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. You want to make sure that you understand each and every charge, and if you do not then you need to clarify and ask questions before any work is done. You do not want to be surprised with added charges when you are handed the final bill.
Read the manual for your car and make notes of important pages. This will help you when it comes time for you to visit your mechanic if a major problem occurs. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. If you don’t have a record of past work, it may cost you money and make it hard for the technician to diagnose the problem.
Beware mechanics who charge you for repairs which are unnecessary. A trustworthy mechanic should inform you about parts that are becoming worn and will need replacement in the near future, but no parts should be replaced without first getting your approval. Never return to a mechanic that ripped you off.
Before you bring your car to a repair shop, try to determine what is wrong with your car. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesn’t need. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.
Get multiple estimates if you’re in need of major service. Although most auto shops are reliable, you don’t want to pay too much. Look for mechanics that know the ins and outs of your car. Shops like these understand your car through and through.
Remember you don’t need to use a mechanic for car problems. There are many great technicians all over the place. If you find someone that you’re comfortable with, they should be used.
Think about snapping some photos of your car prior to taking it to the auto body shop. Most shops are reputable but there are always a few bad apples out there. This can give you proper documentation in the case of an accident.
Know about car parts prior to visiting a mechanic. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage. New parts come right from the manufacturer’s factory. If a part is rebuilt or reconditioned, it has simply been fixed or restored. Salvage parts just means used parts without any type of alterations.
Paying for expensive parts means you must get a warranty with them. Ask the mechanic about any warranties on parts they ordered for you. Ask for a print out of the warranty for your personal records.
Believe it or not, there are a few shady auto repair businesses that will take your newer tires and switch them with older tires. They prey on the ignorant, those who don’t pay much attention to their car. Prior to taking your car to the garage, use chalk to mark your tires. If you don’t have the chalk on your tires still when you pick the car up, then you know things aren’t right.
If you are short on cash and need some auto repairs, you should think about going to the car repair department of a vocational school near you. This gives you the option of paying less for a repair while students get the opportunity to practice under a licensed mechanic’s supervision.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Ask for OEM parts if you need some new parts for your vehicle. Your mechanic will consider you as a knowledgeable customer if you ask for OEM parts. This tells the mechanic that you know what you’re talking about and don’t want used parts.
If you plan to not use your car for a long time, put it up on jacks and fill the gas tank. This will avoid repair costs when you put the car back in use. Store it in a dry place and don’t use the parking brake.
Don’t hesitate to ask any and all questions that you have when you’re getting your vehicle repaired. Have the mechanic explain all of the repairs and costs to you upfront. A reliable mechanic will take the time to answer all your questions.
Problems with an automobile can really make a person stressed out and annoyed. Not to mention the expense involved. You can save a lot of time and money by learning more about auto repairs and preventative maintenance. This article was just the beginning; you should do more research on this topic.