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). Perhaps you’re not educated on cars, but would like to learn more. If that is true, continue reading and learn about the basics of car repair.
Keeping a good battery charger in your vehicle is always a wise choice to avoid being stranded. Dead batteries happen more often than you imagine, and you can help other people if you take a battery charger along in your vehicle. Familiarize yourself with how the charger hooks up to your battery.
Before you hand over your car to the shop, be sure you are clear about the repair costs. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
Tag the important pages in your vehicle manual. You need to know the basics about your car prior to visiting with a mechanic. You can find the information you need to know in your owner’s manual.
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. If you don’t do this, it’s possible that the problem isn’t even fixed.
Remove fluffy, fun key chains or have it so that your car key can be removed from the bunch. The ignition can’t support too much weight. If your key begins sticking, the tumblers need replacing.
Ask about prices and labor rates before you give your keys to a mechanic. Make sure you’re asking questions if you’re not sure about the shop’s rates. You should understand how you are billed by your mechanic. Some shops have the repair times established by certain manufacturers. A lot of repairs that seem to be easy to fix could end up taking a whole day in some cases.
Look at flashing lights on your dashboard and learn what each one signifies. They were put there for your assistance, so use them for that. Ignoring these warning lights will not make the problem go away.
Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are good mechanics all over that can fix your car. Find someone who you are comfortable with and stick with them.
Before you take your car to the body shop, take photographs of your car from all sides. Some shops might strip your car to justify billing you for more repairs. Be safe rather than sorry.
Learn about car part classifications so that you are aware of what is going on during your repair. There are new parts, refurbished parts, and salvaged parts. “New” means the part was made to the manufacturer’s specs, by the maker or by an independent retailer. Refurbished parts are ones that have been repaired. Salvaged parts are second hand parts that have never been fixed.
Don’t let a mechanic tell you that flushing your engine is routine maintenance. Flushing your engine is generally unnecessary unless you’ve subjected it to great abuse, (like a long time between oil changes) and it’s simply too expensive to purchase unless your car really needs it.
Never buy from a mechanic who promises that parts will last over the full lifetime of a vehicle. This is only a sales tactic that allows them to charge more. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. Though the change time on transmission fluid is very long, it should be swapped every 80,000 miles.
It is common for folks to seek repairs for one issue, only to be told that their car has additional problems. This is often done to make you feel as though you’ve been given a great deal. Let them know you will be in touch, and look around for a better deal.
You are completely capable of changing your oil, checking your fluids and simple maintenance tasks such as these. It is not true that these routine jobs should be left to the professionals. If you know how to do routine maintenance, go ahead and do it.
When you get a diagnosis of your vehicle’s problem, think about what you want to do before you commit to any repairs. Contact other shops or dealerships and compare what they would charge for repairs suggested by the first mechanic. If another place can fix it cheaper, pay the first place their fee for the diagnostic and have your car fixed somewhere else.
After having a mechanic replace a car part, ask him to return the old one to you. When the mechanic says no, it’s likely that he never actually replaced the part. This is a red flag that should be raised.
As stated earlier, it is important for you to take care of your vehicle. Even if you only learn to do a few easy maintenance tasks, you can save a lot compared to what a mechanic would charge you. Use this information the next time your vehicle is acting funny.