Few things are as frustrating as having your car break down far away from home. Besides the immediate dangers of being stranded on the roadside, you are also facing the problem of hiring a mechanic in a hurry. What makes a mechanic good? Use these tips to get proper auto repair service.
Ensure your car has an emergency kit. You need tools to change a flat tire, charge a battery, and you must have spare gas. Consider having blankets, batteries and a flashlight for unexpected nighttime break downs.
Check your radiator often. Let the car idle for a short period first, but only long enough to let the fluid circulate. Never open your radiator if your vehicle is running. Check the amount of fluid in your radiator with your dipstick and remember to mix the coolant with some water.
Do you understand what the estimated cost for your fix is? If something is not clear, clarify it with the service adviser or mechanic before starting any repair on the car. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. A good mechanic will never perform work without getting your full approval. Don’t trust a mechanic who has done repairs without asking.
When bringing your car to a mechanic, tell them you want OEM parts. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. Although using generic parts may provide some short-term savings, it’s impossible to know whether or not they’ll hold up as well as OEM parts. It may seem like you are getting a deal now, but it may end up costing you a lot in the future.
It is a good idea to keep a small set of tools in the back of your car for minor repairs on the road. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars. A good lug wrench and jack are key. You may ask want to get a variety of screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches and the like. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Keep an eye on the lights located on the dash, and make sure you are aware of what they all mean. They’re there for a reason. Whatever problem they are indicating will only get worse the longer you ignore it.
Warranties serve an important purpose when your car is repaired, especially when you buy expensive parts. Ask the mechanic about the parts’ warranty. Inquire as to how long it is for and get a printed copy.
There are some shops that do devious things to your car if you are not paying attention. They sell your tires and make a profit off your ignorance. Prior to going there, you should put chalk on the tires so they’re marked. If you find the chalk is missing later on, question the shop about what happened.
If your money is really tight and you really need vehicle repairs, try talking to an auto repair department at a local vocation school. You can pay much less for service since students are still learning how to repair cars.
Always contact the manufacturer if you’re experiencing safety-related problems with a new car. Your vehicle might have a recall, especially if multiple people complain. Your manufacturer might even cover the repairs.
You should be consistent when it comes to auto repair. If you have a mechanic that you trust, then stick with them. If you continue going to different shops, you will pay more in the long run. They could charge different amounts that cause you to pay more for repairs.
Join AAA if you need someone to help you with an auto repair. This organization can help you when you need a repair or a tow. You can even get discounts for repair costs from AAA.
There’s no reason why simple maintenance, such as topping off engine oil or adding windshield wiper fluid, can’t be done on your own. You can do these routine maintenance jobs yourself. Mechanics aren’t required. Make sure you know what to do, then dive right in.
Keep track of all your vehicle repair and maintenance receipts in an accordion folder in your car. File them by work done, or timeline order. This complete set of records will be very helpful for anyone working on your car. It also helps if you have a dispute with maintenance, you will have all your receipts in one place. This plastic file is invaluable to you.
Do not ignore sounds being made by your car. Noises really detail what problems may lie within. Tell your mechanic what sound you hear and he may be able to figure out the problem more quickly.
When your mechanic hems and haws over a written estimate, don’t use him. You’ll have no written word of work done.
If you’re getting someone to repair your vehicle, see if they’re able to return your old parts. Doing this ensures the repairs really have been done. Some repairs do not require this, like repairing the exhaust system. It’s easy to tell if a new or good exhaust system has been installed.
Take a little time to educate yourself on your cars specific make and model. Simple car maintenance tasks are easy to learn and can save you money. You’ll save a great deal of money by doing routine maintenance yourself.
Selecting the best mechanic is not easy. When you have the right information, auto repair isn’t all that hard after all. Know what to look for and what to ask. Make use of the tips from this article when you next face car repairs.
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