Your car may be your most valuable possession, because you need it to travel to every place you go to. Because your car is so important to you, you need to learn as much about it as you can. If that is so, continue reading to learn more about automobile maintenance.
Inspect your radiator once in a while. To do this, you need to allow your car to run several minutes, and then turn off the engine. You are now ready to open up your hood. Don’t open your radiator if your car is running. Check radiator fluid by using a dipstick and remember to dilute coolant with water prior to adding it.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. Should you need clarification about the repairs, speak with the service manager or your mechanic before work begins. You surely do not want unpleasant surprises when you go to get the car.
Be careful of mechanics who will do unnecessary work on your vehicle. A good mechanic will never perform work without getting your full approval. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.
Ask for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These parts are issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. They may initially be a deal, but the generic parts may make you pay more in the long run.
If you do not have headlights that are shining bright enough, you may need to clean them. Dirt and grease buildup can significantly dull your headlights. Use a quality glass cleaning product and improve the situation dramatically.
Be sure that you know whether or not you have a mechanic that can help you with your vehicle. While basic components may be the same, there are differences between cars due to the amount of space beneath the hood. If you don’t think the shop you are going to really knows what they are doing, take your car to the dealer instead.
Keep a spare tire and jack handy at all times. Typically, if you have recently purchased a car, you should have these items already. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.
Ask friends for referrals. Personal recommendations are usually honest and forthright. Still, you want to follow up by doing other research. At the minimum, take a look online to see what others are saying about the shop as well.
Change your oil at least once every couple of months to stay safe. If you wish for your automobile to run great for a long time, the oil needs to be changed on a regular basis. In the long run, omitting this important step could cost you thousands of dollars, and it could lead your vehicle to an early death.
Self diagnosing complex problems with your vehicle is probably something you shouldn’t attempt. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. Even problems that seem simple to fix may actually be complicated, particularly in newer model cars. Let the mechanics handle the diagnosis. Allow them to know whatever is going on with your vehicle and what kinds of noises you’ve heard and let them make the decision as to what can be done.
A lot of people do not take their time to read through their vehicle’s manual when they have a problem. You really ought to study the manual so that important details are easy to find. Included in the owner’s manual is important information on things such as car maintenance or how to properly change your car’s tires.
When it comes to the shop you patronize, be consistent. Don’t visit different shops every time you need something done. By shopping around different mechanics, you won’t get consistency regarding what your car really needs. This means that your car repairs may end up costing you more.
If you want to be sure to have an advocate on your side when you need your car serviced, consider joining the American Automobile Association or AAA. From getting a tow truck fast to dealing effectively with a garage, AAA can provide drivers with tons of assistance. Also, they often have discounts that can save you money.
There are basic things you can do by yourself, like adding fluids, such as oil and wiper fluid. 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.
You should be educated on the parts of your car so you can easily figure out what problems it has. You should look into classes if you don’t know a lot about car maintenance. Even if you don’t want to take a class, learning about the basics can save money later. With this knowledge, you can deal with things before they become big issues.
Listen to any sounds your vehicle makes. Some noises can be caused by mechanical issues or parts that need to be maintained. Being able to describe the sounds and problem to your mechanic can save you much on labor costs.
If a mechanic will not give you an estimate in writing, look elsewhere. If the work is done poorly, you won’t be able to recover costs because there is no written proof of the contracted work.
Ask a mechanic lots of questions. You want to know more about the repairs and not just the price. Ask how much work is involved. Ask about the kind of work done to your vehicle. How much will parts cost? Make any other inquiries you can think of. This demonstrates your knowledge and gives you a base of data for future issues.
In conclusion, it’s important to care for your car. Even knowing how to do simple maintenance may save you tons of money instead of going to a mechanic. Take these tips to heart, and pull this article back out whenever you need to.