If your car suffers a breakdown, you need to get it running ASAP. It’s tough to be without your car. You don’t always need to pay huge amounts of money for repairs. There are a lot of basic repairs you can do yourself.
Mechanics should have ASE certification before you hire them. This certification lets you know that your mechanic has at least 2 years of experience and has passed a test. This means you will have an expert working on your car.
Ask any questions you have. Ask about any problems you are having, and find out if there’s anything you can do to keep your care healthy. Preventing car problems is a great, money-saving skill to have.
Check your radiator often. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Never open the radiator on a running car. Look to see what the fluid level is (use a dipstick), and remember that coolant needs to have a bit of water added prior to entering your radiator.
Every time you have your car fixed, regardless of the reason, you should take note of it. If further issues develop later, the mechanic may want to see the historical documentation of what has already been done. Without records, you might have to pay higher costs due to taking longer to find the problem.
OEM parts should be asked for. Those are the original parts from the manufacturer. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. It may seem like you are getting a deal now, but it may end up costing you a lot in the future.
When visiting a repair shop, be mindful of warning signs that the shop is not a good one. If you are being talked to in circles and your questions aren’t answered, then you will want to go elsewhere. You need to trust a mechanic, and if you do not feel that trust, find another one.
Try to find out whats wrong with your vehicle before calling a mechanic. You can save a ton of cash via diagnosing the issue yourself, and you could prevent fraud. As you’ve probably heard, there are some mechanics that like to lie about issues to make some more money.
Make sure the mechanic can work on your particular car. Basic components are usually the same, but there are big differences in different types of cars. If you are not confident in a local mechanic, pay a little more to get an authorized dealer to work on the car.
Take all those fun and fluffy keychains off, or make it possible to remove your car key from the bunch. The ignition in your car isn’t designed to take a bunch of weight even if your car keys don’t feel that heavy. If the key starts to stick, its time to replace the tumblers and say goodbye to your troll buddy!
You do not always have to have your dealer repair your car. There are a variety of mechanics and auto shops on offer for you to chose from. Consider using one if they appear to be good.
Keep in mind that DIY repairs for your car are risky. Never work on your own vehicle without having someone close by. You never know when an emergency may occur. If you buy good quality tools, they will last a long time. This definitely applies to tire changing equipment. Remember that your jack needs to hold your car up very securely, especially if you are going to be underneath the car. That’s why it’s smart to use a good hydraulic floor jack with approved jack stands.
It is a good idea to take some photos of your car, prior to taking it to the garage. Sometimes shady mechanics supplement their income by stripping a car of its more expensive parts. It is better to document what your vehicle looks like just in case this horrible thing happens to you.
Learn about car part classifications so that you are aware of what is going on during your repair. There are several classifications. These include “new”, “re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned”, and “salvaged.” New items have recently been made by the manufacturer. Parts that are rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured have been restored to good condition. Salvage parts are parts that have been used and haven’t been altered.
Some unscrupulous body shops may replace your tires with older ones. They do this to make money off of those who do not know enough to check. Before visiting the shop, use chalk to mark your tires. If the chalk isn’t present when you get the car, you’ve been had.
Do not believe claims that any auto part will last for a lifetime. A lot of the time they just say this so that they’re able to make more off of you. A good example of this is transmission fluid that has a “lifetime guarantee”. While this does not need to be changed as often as typical fluid, you should still change it every 80,000 miles or so.
Most people do not read their owner’s manual. You should review this manual and learn how to use it so you can locate useful information quickly. The manual has information related to keeping the vehicle maintained, as well as on how to make small repairs.
If you encounter a serious problem that threatens your safety on a brand new car, contact the manufacturer. You may find that there is already a manufacturer’s recall to fix this problem. If there is not yet a recall, your report of the problem may help lead to one. Regardless, the manufacturer will typically offer an acceptable solution to your issue.
You do not have to always take your vehicle to an expensive repair shop to get it running again. If you take care of the problem yourself, you can save a lot of money. Use what you have learned here to get your vehicle back on the highway again.