Your car is probably one of your most important possessions, since you depend on it to get you to and from work (among other places). You might not know too much about cars, but want to become better educated on their care and repair. If that is so, continue reading to learn more about automobile maintenance.
Make sure there is an emergency kit located in your vehicle at all times. Include a spare tire, a jack, a battery charger and a container full of gas. Also, flashlights, batteries and blankets are all crucial items as well.
Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. Be sure the questions involve the problems you are having with your car and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. Preventing vehicle issues is a great way of saving money annually.
Do not pay an auto mechanic until you have test driven your car to be sure they did their job. A lot of people don’t try to drive their car first and they figure out the hard way that it wasn’t repaired later on.
Always get a second opinion, a reputable mechanic will not be offended because he knows his diagnosis will be confirmed. While most mechanics can be trusted, you might wind up being charged more than is necessary. Check out other options which are trustworthy. They may have an easier time understanding what needs to be done to your car.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. While it is different with each vehicle, it is much cheaper to do it yourself. Ask a friend if they can show you how it should be done.
You shouldn’t forget about your wiper blades. If your windshield wipers cause streaks or make noises, they may need replacing. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.
Speak with people you know to see how they deal with repairing their vehicles. Personal recommendations are usually honest and forthright. Research any recommendations you get. At least try to find some online reviews on the shops that they recommend.
Change your oil at least once every couple of months to stay safe. You can put yourself in danger if you do not get your oil changed regularly. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
Keep in mind that it’s not always safe to do some auto repairs. Should something happen, be sure someone else is around. Purchase quality tools you know will last. Tire changing equipment definitely needs to be high grade. Keep in mind that you need a jack that can easily support the weight of your car. A hydraulic jack which comes with jack stands that are approved is your best bet.
It is a good idea to take some photos of your car, prior to taking it to the garage. While many shops won’t strip your car, some will in order to make more money. It is wise to have proof of your car’s condition, should something unfortunate occur.
Don’t allow people to sell auto parts to you that say they’re going to last forever. When mechanics use this claim, they are usually just trying to get you to spend more money unnecessarily. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. Transmission fluid needs to be changed every 80K miles or so.
It is quite common for customers to find out about additional issues when they pick up their vehicle from an auto shop. Unscrupulous dealers do this to make you feel as though your car may be dangerous and they are being a friend by offering you a deal. Let them know that you’ll think about it, and then look around for an even better deal.
Look to AAA for reliable auto repairs. This organization can help you when you need a repair or a tow. You are going to find that AAA has many discount options in place.
When you get a diagnosis, take some time before you decide to get the repairs done. Contact other shops or dealerships and compare what they would charge for repairs suggested by the first mechanic. If you are able to find a better price, you might owe the shop some diagnostic labor, but you will not be stuck with an overpriced repair.
After paying to replace old parts, make sure the mechanic gives you the old ones that were removed. If the mechanic says no, it’s possible that there was no replacement done. This is not a good sign and you should confront him about it.
Sometimes you need to keep a car in storage for a significant amount of time. Put it on stands and fill the gas tank. Do not engage the parking brake and make sure the area in which you store the car is dry enough to prevent rust.
Computer sensors on cars these days send a warning to your dashboard when there is a problem. Although, you don’t want to completely rely on these buttons to tell you when something is wrong. Bulbs and sensors fail, and therefore manual checking every so often is always advisable.
Before agreeing to a costly repair, it is wise to get the problem diagnosed at a second repair shop. A mechanic may act offended, or even offer you a special price for doing the work with him immediately, but take this as a warning sign. If the repair is needed, then he will have no problem with another mechanic who will confirm his diagnosis.
In conclusion, it’s important to care for your car. Knowing just the simplest of things can save you quite a bit of money. Keep this advice in mind when your car next gives you trouble.