A car can be a time and money sink if it is not taken care of properly. Besides becoming familiar with your car’s model, you can learn other tricks. Continue reading so that you can save yourself both time and money.
Understand your manual and mark important pages. You need to know the basics about your car prior to visiting with a mechanic. Sometimes you may find things that you can easily fix yourself and do not require a trip to the dealership.
Whenever you have your vehicle repaired, ensure you maintain an adequate record, regardless of the reason why you are having repairs. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. If you do not have the records, you might end up paying more for the mechanic to poke around trying to find the source of the trouble.
Test out your car before paying for its repairs. If you don’t do this, you may still have an issue after you get it home.
Try to get OEM parts for your car. This means that they’ve come directly from the manufacturer. 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.
If you’re headlights don’t appear to be as bright as they once did, you may want to check their cleanliness. Different substances from the road will accumulate on the glass of the headlights. This will block a portion of the light. Use a quality glass cleaner to keep your lights clean.
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 are not sure, spend the extra money and go to an authorized dealer.
You should make sure to have a spare tire and jack with you all the time. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.
Your wiper blades should never be forgotten about. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. Get new wipers blades yearly or on a more regular basis if there is often rain or snow where you live.
Memorize each light and symbol on your dash instrument panel. When one lights up, it helps to understand what you’re dealing with. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. If you simply overlook them for months on end, there is a chance your vehicle might sustain irreparable damage.
Keep in mind that you don’t need the dealer for auto repairs. There are a variety of mechanics and auto shops on offer for you to chose from. If you’re comfortable with a tech, use him or her.
You should check the tire pressure when you go to the gas station. Examine the tires for anything that might be stuck in them. If you spot an issue, don’t put off getting it repaired. It is very dangerous driving on bad tires.
Become educated on car-part classifications. Learn the difference between rebuilt parts, salvage parts, and new parts. New parts are brand new and made to the manufacturer’s specification. Parts that are rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured have been restored to good condition. However, salvage is simply another word for a used part.
Don’t try to diagnose and fix complex automotive issues. It takes special skills to work on cars. Vehicle repairs can be complicated. Let repair shops diagnose your vehicle. Tell them everything you can about the issue, but allow them to determine the cause.
Only go to a repairman that is certified. The National Institute for Automotive Excellence provides the seal of approval for consumers to look for. This indicates that they are properly trained and will give you quality service.
Always contact the manufacturer if you’re experiencing safety-related problems with a new car. It may be a recall issue if multiple people report the same problem. Manufacturers will often fix the car in these cases.
You are completely capable of changing your oil, checking your fluids and simple maintenance tasks such as these. It’s a falsehood that only mechanics are qualified to perform routine maintenance. You should not hesitate to do some repairs yourself, as long as you have the proper skills and knowledge.
As previously stated, the more you know about the basics of vehicle maintenance and repair, the better off you will be. You can fix problems on your own or choose the right mechanic. When performing do-it-yourself auto repairs, make use of these tips.