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 are not very knowledgeable in the automotive field. This article is intended to help provide a little more confidence in your abilities and teach you the basics of simple auto-maintenance.
Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. Find out what caused the issues, and ask what you can do so this does not happen again. One of the best ways to reduce costs is by preventative maintenance.
Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. This kind of certification tells you that whoever will be working on your car has a couple years of experience and has passed a test. That means only the best will work on your car.
Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If you aren’t sure about anything, ask for clarification. You don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.
Monitor your radiator. Keep your car running then shut the engine for several minutes before opening the hood. Never open your radiator if your vehicle is running. 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.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. If further issues develop later, the mechanic may want to see the historical documentation of what has already been done. If you do not have the records, you might end up paying more for the mechanic to poke around trying to find the source of the trouble.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. If something is not clear, clarify it with the service adviser or mechanic before starting any repair on the car. You don’t want to be surprised by unexpected charges.
Avoid mechanics who charge you for repairs that are not really needed. Your mechanic should contact you if they come across additional issues while fixing your car and get your approval before they go ahead and replace more parts. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.
A good referral makes it much easier to locate a trustworthy mechanic. Ask co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. You can find out great information about price and value that way. These people will be able to inform you of their experience with the mechanic.
Check to see that your technician knows what he is doing. If they give you the runaround or ignore any questions, you may not want them. Having a mechanic you can trust is extremely important; don’t waste your time with one who can’t make you confident in his skills.
Look over the manual that came with your car. When you visit a car shop, mechanics will need to know particular information about your car. Also, reading the manual may help you realize that the repair you need, can be done easily by you.
Invest in a spare tire and a jack, and keep them in your vehicle. Modern cars come equipped with them already. There is nothing worse than being stranded far from home and having to get an expensive tow. You can save a lot by doing it yourself.
Assemble a DIY auto repair tool kit to keep in the trunk of your car. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars. If you’re missing a lug wrench and jack, then you need to buy one. A few good screwdrivers, wrenches and a socket wrench can also come in handy for any unexpected road-side issues. Cheap tools are not worth your money. Invest in high- quality tools that you will own forever.
Try to find out whats wrong with your vehicle before calling a mechanic. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesn’t need. Experience shows that mechanics sometimes falsely claim a problem exists and do an unnecessary repair, to increase their earnings.
Think about locating a person that fixes vehicles and owns a garage. If they are experienced and skilled, you can get the same work done at a much cheaper price. You can support small business and save hundreds on the cost of the repair.
Replacing a burnt-out headlight or taillight is much cheaper when you do it by yourself. Doing so is easier in some cars than others, but it is still cheaper than paying a mechanic to make the replacement. Ask a friend if they can show you how it should be done.
Paying for expensive parts means you must get a warranty with them. Ask the mechanic about warranties on these parts. Get a printed copy of the warranty and keep it in a binder with other important car paperwork.
Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. They are there for a warning so it is to your benefit to be aware of what they are warning you about. When you ignore them, you’ll pay for it.
A good mechanic will likely have some credentials. You should especially check for the A.S.E Seal of Approval from the Nat’l Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. This will tell you if they are properly trained and will provide you with quality service.
If you do not have a lot of money, but need auto repairs , you can visit a vocational school in your area to have the automotive department do repairs. You’ll pay much less for having students do work on your vehicle under a licensed mechanic’s supervision.
Not that many people take time to read their car’s owner’s manual. You should read your manual all the way through at least once. Your manual tells you all that you should know about how you can maintain your car yourself.
Don’t let anyone tell you that getting an engine flushed is something that normally needs to be done during maintenance. It is quite expensive and usually only necessary for engines in very bad shape. There is a good chance they are just trying to “pad” your bill, unless your engine is in real trouble.
Often people will take a vehicle in for service, only to find out when they pick it up that there are more problems. They usually give you a quote higher than what the job is worth, then they will pretend to give you a lower price as a “deal.” Tell them you want to take a few hours to make a decision and then call around for quotes from other shops.
A lot of the time when people try to get their vehicle repaired and they come back they find out more issues were found. They usually give you a quote higher than what the job is worth, then they will pretend to give you a lower price as a “deal.” Let them know that you will let them know, and search other shops to see if a better price is available.
OEM is a shorter way to say Original Equipment Manufacturer. Remember this if you need to have parts replaced. Your mechanic will consider you as a knowledgeable customer if you ask for OEM parts. This tells the mechanic that you know what you’re talking about and don’t want used parts.
Since your car is so important, taking care of it is crucial. Just knowing the basics is a big deal and can help keep the cost of repairs down. Remember these tips when you feel like something’s wrong with your car.
If you have bought a car and feel there is an issue that could harm you, speak with the manufacturer. Manufacturers issue recalls for some vehicles that have recurring issues and you can get your manufacturer to consider recalling the vehicle if other people run into the same problem. The manufacturer may fix the problem at no cost to you.
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