Care and maintenance of your vehicle is critical, especially if you drive frequently. Unfortunately, this is not legally required, so most people never learn these basics. The article below has the information you need to keep your car in tip-top shape.
Prior to letting a mechanic touch your vehicle, ensure that they are A.S.E certified. This certification guarantees that the mechanic has been tested and has more than two years of experience. That way, you can have the best mechanics working on your car.
Ask for referrals to find a great mechanic. You can ask anyone you trust, from your hairdresser to your family. You can learn about the quality of work, the pricing and if they were satisfied with the service. Your friends are much more likely to be honest with you about how they felt about a particular shop.
Look up reviews online for body shops in your area. This will speak volumes about their customer service abilities and their skill in solving issues. This will help you choose the best shop.
Try to get OEM parts for your car. These are original parts direct from the manufacturer. It may be cheaper to take generic parts, but there’s no knowing the true quality of those parts over the many years to come. It might be a great deal, but if you have to continue to replace the part, it is not going to be a good deal in the long run.
Look for the warning signs that your mechanic is not as competent as you might hope. If they talk to you in circles or they don’t pay attention to your questions, you may not be dealing with the best person. Find a mechanic who seems trustworthy and knows how to answer all your questions.
Replace your light bulbs on your own. It is easier on some vehicles than others, however no matter what type of vehicle you have it will be cheaper than hiring a mechanic for the job. Ask whether someone you know can show you how to fix it.
Learn to recognize the different warning lights on your dashboard. They are meant to help; use them to your advantage. When you ignore them, you’ll pay for it.
You should still wash your car during the winter time. While you may not see the need, winter is by far the harshest season for cars. Sand is abrasive to your paint, and salt will make that damage rust quickly. Always dry the vehicle off, though, before you take it out for a spin so that the water doesn’t turn into ice.
Each time you fill up with petrol, take the time to look at your tire pressures. Verify that there are no nails or debris sticking out. Any problems should be fixed immediately. You never want to drive on bad tires.
Avoid diagnosing car problems yourself. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. What you may think is an easy fix may be a hard one, especially if your car is newer. Let repair shops diagnose your vehicle. Supply them with all the necessary information, and let them handle the final diagnosis.
Don’t trust any claims that a part will last you a lifetime. Often, that’s their way of getting more money out of you. As an example, some vehicles come with transmission fluid marked as “lifetime”. While this does not need to be changed as often as typical fluid, you should still change it every 80,000 miles or so.
Many people don’t actually read their car manual. You should review this manual and learn how to use it so you can locate useful information quickly. You can learn a lot about preventative maintenance and small repairs in your manual.
Take a couple of hours before saying yes to repairs from a mechanic. Call other dealerships or garages to inquire what they charge for the type of repair the original mechanic is recommending. If you find someone that can repair your car for less, pay the first mechanic for the diagnosis only and have your car repaired elsewhere.
Using a dealer’s mechanics can be expensive, but this is often your best option. The dealer’s technicians specialize in the model and make of your car. It’s easy for them to diagnose and repair any problems your car may have. They must also receive training throughout the course of their employment.
Put all of your important auto repair receipts in your car – plastic accordion files work well for this. Sort your receipts by type or date. However you organize, those receipts can help a mechanic understand the history of your car and help you find your documentation if a repair has gone wrong. This can come in handy later on.
Mechanics that estimate over $200 for service should be asked for a written statement. Written proof is always beneficial if you end up taking the mechanic to court. No only that, but with a written quote, the mechanic will probably not add repairs that are not necessary.
When getting a repair from an mechanic, you may ask to have the old parts returned to you. This is a good way to ensure the repairs have indeed been performed. This is unnecessary for certain repairs, such as the replacement of an exhaust system. An exhaust system is something you’re able to see easily if it has been replaced.
Driving cars means you must be responsible for keeping them in good condition. Still, you might not know where to find a good auto repair shop, and you might not have the knowledge to do those repairs on your own. Take a second to read over all of the concepts discussed above and you will have what is required to maintain a running vehicle for years to come.