If you own a vehicle, you need to learn a few things about auto repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately, this is not legally required, so most people never learn these basics. The following article will provide you with many excellent pieces of advice for keeping your car in peak condition.
Check your radiator often. Start your car, wait a few minutes and shut it off so you can safely inspect the radiator. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Check how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.
Make sure there is an emergency kit located in your vehicle at all times. It should have tire changing tools, a battery charger and tools to top up your gas tank. Do not forget blankets and a good flashlight with some batteries.
Asking around for recommendations is a great opportunity to locate a mechanic you can trust. Ask the people you know for their recommendations. You can find out about a mechanics quality of work, their price, and overall satisfaction. They can let you know if they had a good experience and whether or not the mechanic was trustworthy and honest.
Ensure you regularly inspect your radiator. You need to allow your car to run for a couple of minutes, shut down the engine and then open up the hood. Never open the radiator on a running car. Check the radiator fluids using a dipstick and remember to always mix the coolant with water before putting it in the radiator.
Every time your car is repaired, make sure you keep records of the event. This will help the technician when you get future repairs on your car. If you don’t have a record of past work, it may cost you money and make it hard for the technician to diagnose the problem.
Getting a good referral is the ideal way to discover a great auto technician. See if co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family members have any recommendations. Ask them how good the work was, how much they were charged, and if they were satisfied. People will let you know if their experiences were good or bad and how honest the auto repair shop was with them.
If possible, test drive your car prior to paying for repairs. If you do not do this, you may have the same issue when you get home.
Keep on hand all of your car’s documentation. You may want to store them in the glove compartment for easy access. Auto repair mechanics and professionals will need the records. They help them figure out what’s wrong quickly.
Watch out for mechanics who perform unnecessary repairs on your car. They should contact you before doing any extra work. Do not take your care twice to a mechanic who performed some unnecessary repairs.
When taking your car to the mechanic for repairs, never leave valuables in the car. Mechanics might have to empty the inside of your vehicle and they cannot be held responsible if an item is damaged or missing. The same is true of your trunk or the bed of your truck.
Request OEM parts. This means that you are getting manufacturer made parts and not replicas. Generic parts might be cheaper, but they may not be good enough quality. A great deal can cost you tons down the road.
Look for signs that should serve as a warning that your repair man is no good. If you’re receiving double-talk when you ask them a question, they are probably not the mechanic for you. It is important that you trust the person that is repairing your vehicle, and if you don’t, then go somewhere else.
Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. 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. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Never go with the first estimate you receive. Do not pay extra money for a service that can be performed at a fraction of the cost. Take your time and find a shop you feel you can trust. Also, look for someone who has experience with your type of car. These shops can better understand the needed repairs for your vehicle.
Before you settle on a car repair business, talk to friends and family for recommendations. The search process can be improved with recommendations from friend and loved ones. Still, you want to follow up by doing other research. Check online to see if there is other information or reviews about the shop in question.
Inspect your manual so that you know what each dashboard light represents. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. If you ignore them, the problem can get worse.
Don’t put off washing your vehicle during the winter time. Winter can be the most damage causing time of the year for your car. Sand and salt can cause rust and abrasions. Best be sure to dry your car before driving so that you won’t let any ice form on your car.
Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are great technicians everywhere, whether you take your car to the shop ten minutes from your home or whether you go on in to your dealer. You need to use a mechanic that you feel completely comfortable with.
It is important to have your oil changed regularly. Your oil must be changed regularly for you car to run properly. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
Whenever you fill up on gas, make sure you check the pressure of your tires. Look at the tires and make sure that they there is nothing embedded in them. If you see something wrong, make sure to fix the problem immediately. Driving with faulty tires is extremely dangerous.
Never attempt to diagnose complicated car problems on your own. Keep in mind that you are not a professional. Problems can be more complicated than they initially appear. Let a professional diagnose the issue. Let them know what the problem is and the noises you hear, but allow them to diagnose the final issue.
Before you go somewhere to take care of your automobile problems, learn what you can about car-part classifications. Parts can be new, refurbished, or salvaged. “New” refers to parts that have been created to manufacturer specifications either through an independent retailer or them. Rebuilt or reconditioned parts are basically ones that have been restored and now are working well. Salvaged parts are used parts that have not been repaired.
Check that your mechanic has all of the needed certifications. You might want to see if they have received approval from the NIAE. This will tell you if they are properly trained and will provide you with quality service.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is often referred to as OEM. If you need something replaced on your car, you should remember this. If you specify that you want original equipment manufacturer parts, the mechanic will think you know what you’re talking about. They will be less likely to place used parts in your automobile.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is usually abbreviated as OEM. Remember this when you need a part replaced on your car. If you let your mechanic know that you only want OEM parts, you’ll appear to be knowledgeable. This will make someone less likely to try placing used parts on your vehicle.
If you have a major issue that threatens safety in a new car, talk to the manufacturer. It is possible that there was a recall you didn’t know about. The manufacturer may fix the problem at no cost to you.
Keep a file with all your important repair receipts in your vehicle. File them by work done, or timeline order. You just want to make sure you have a full maintenance record for the car so that you can ensure proper repairs and full satisfaction should a dispute arise. This is particularly valuable when it is time to sell your car.
You are completely capable of changing your oil, checking your fluids and simple maintenance tasks such as these. Don’t be fooled into thinking that only a professional mechanic can change your oil or check your fluids. Learn all you can, and then roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Knowing about how your car runs can help you recognize any problems. If you feel you are lacking in this department, think about signing up for a car repair class. Investing money in the basics of car maintenance can save you money when a problem occurs. That is why you must learn to figure out issues before they become major ones and help the car last longer.
Ask to get your old parts when they’re replaced. This will help ensure that the part was actually replaced and that it needed replacing. Certain repairs, such as those performed on the exhaust system, makes this unnecessary. It is not hard to see if a brand new exhaust system was put in place.
Ask your mechanic a lot of questions. Ask about things other than just the cost of repairs. How long should it take to finish? What work will be done? What are you going to be paying for parts? Ask whatever questions you have. That proves to them that you know what you’re talking about.
It is nice to have the convenience of your car alerting you to every problem. Don’t make this your sole source of information though, take the time to be aware of any issues that are occuring. If the warning light bulb burns out, there is no way for your car to warn you of the issue.
Having a car means having to keep it in good, working condition. Not everyone knows how to find a good mechanic or do their own repairs. Take these ideas and apply them next time you need to repair you car. You should be able to save yourself time and money in the future. Good luck.
You need to decide whether to get your auto repair work performed by your dealership or an independent mechanic. Dealerships are more expensive, but they offer specialized service for your type of car. Independent mechanics are often less expensive, but you may or may not get service of high quality.