It is definitely awesome having the freedom of your own vehicle. You may go anywhere you desire and do what you want, when you want. This also means that it may break down at inconvenient times and leave you stranded somewhere. These tips should help to prepare you for such a situation.
Get OEM components. These are original parts direct from the manufacturer. Generic parts may cost less, but they are not as good. Though you may think you are getting a deal with generic parts, in the long run, you will end up paying double than you would have if you had gotten OEM parts.
See if the prospective mechanic has experience with your type of car. A mechanic who has experience with the make and model you are driving will be able to diagnose issues quickly.
Take all valuable items out of your vehicle before taking it in for repairs. If your belongings are in the way of your mechanic’s repairs, they may be moved to the side, possibly even lost. Clear out your trunk, too.
Getting a good referral is the ideal way to discover a great auto technician. Ask around for recommendations. This will let you figure out what kind of price you’re dealing with and if you’ll be satisfied with the work that is done. Your friends are much more likely to be honest with you about how they felt about a particular shop.
Doing repairs on your own can be hazardous. Have a person close by to help if an emergency occurs. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. This is particularly true with tire changing tools. Remember that you need a jack that can hold the vehicle up especially when you need to get under it. You should think about purchasing a hydraulic floor jack that has approved stands.
Buy OEM parts. These parts are issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Generic parts may cost less, but they are not as good. What is a cheap option now could be an expensive option later.
Know about car parts prior to visiting a mechanic. Parts can be new, rebuilt or reconditioned, or salvaged. New parts come right from the manufacturer’s factory. Parts that are re-manufactured or rebuilt have been restored to perform like new. Salvage parts are parts that have been used and haven’t been altered.
Don’t leave anything of value in your car when it’s being repaired. The mechanic might need to move these things so they can do the job, and they won’t assume responsibility if anything comes up missing. Clear out your trunk, too.
If you’re short on cash, the repair department in vocational schools may offer you service at a fraction of the cost. You’ll get a deep discount for letting students fix your car under the watchful eye of a certified mechanic.
You don’t want people selling you parts that are said to be guaranteed for life. This is often simply a sneaky way for unscrupulous parts dealers to get more money out of you. For instance, some cars have “lifetime” transmission fluid. Transmission fluid needs to be changed every 80K miles or so.
Do not neglect your wiper blades. If you don’t have wipers that work well or streak your windows, you need to purchase newer ones. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.
Have you read your car’s manual? You should read your manual all the way through at least once. The manual has information related to keeping the vehicle maintained, as well as on how to make small repairs.
Ask friends for referrals. Friends and family can help with recommendations. Research any recommendations you get. At least look for online reviews of those recommendations.
It is quite common for customers to find out about additional issues when they pick up their vehicle from an auto shop. Unscrupulous dealers do this to make you feel as though your car may be dangerous and they are being a friend by offering you a deal. Let them know that you’ll think about it, and then look around for an even better deal.
Find out how much a mechanic charges for the repair, including labor, before you hand over your keys. Some fees may not be readily apparent, so make sure you know exactly what they are. You need to know how you’re billed for the repairs. Some shops provide repair time estimates established by manufacturers. Even a minor job might take all day.
Bleed your brakes after your work is done on them. After bleeding your breaks, make sure that you pump your brake fluid. Examine closely to see if any leaking has occurred. You don’t want to run low on your brake fluid. You can then get ready to take a test drive in an area with little to no traffic. Don’t drive too fast at first to make sure everything is working properly.
Doing repairs on your own can be hazardous. Ensure that you have help close at hand in case something goes wrong. Invest some money in tools that are high quality to ensure good performance. This is particularly true with tire changing tools. Make sure that the jack in your car can securely hold up the vehicle so you are safe while using it. Therefore, it is vital to purchase a hydraulic jack with strong stands.
Once you get a diagnosis from a mechanic, ask for a few hours before making a decision regarding getting your vehicle fixed. Call other dealerships or garages to inquire what they charge for the type of repair the original mechanic is recommending. If you are able to find a better price, you might owe the shop some diagnostic labor, but you will not be stuck with an overpriced repair.
Check the car’s tire pressure whenever you fill up the tank. Look at your tires and ensure that there’s nothing stuck on them. If you see anything wrong with them, get the problem fixed right away. Driving on the highway with corrupt tires can be very dangerous.
Sometimes the best choice is to use mechanics at a car dealer. Your dealer’s mechanics are usually specialists in your car’s model. Therefore, they are able to pinpoint issues and resolve them very quickly. They are in regular training programs.
Take pictures of your car prior to having it serviced. Sometimes shady mechanics supplement their income by stripping a car of its more expensive parts. The appearance of your vehicle needs to be documented in case something bad happens.
After you pay the mechanic to replace older parts with newer ones, have them return the older parts to you. If he doesn’t do this, it could be that he never replaced any part. If this happens, you need to challenge the mechanic and look for someone else in the future.
Before you go somewhere to take care of your automobile problems, learn what you can about car-part classifications. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. New parts just mean that they are designed according to the specifications of the manufacturer. If you are offered parts that are reconditioned or rebuilt, this means that they have been re-manufactured so that they are like new. “Salvage” parts have been used without being improved or repaired.
If the mechanic’s hesitant about getting you a written estimate, go elsewhere. If mistakes are made, you may not be able to recover the damages since you do not have a contract on the work he did.
If you go to a auto body shop and they do good work, go there every time that you need work done. To be sure you are getting good work, it is great to have a solid relationship with a mechanic. You may find yourself getting better prices, as well, for being a loyal customer.
Don’t trust any claims that a part will last you a lifetime. When mechanics use this claim, they are usually just trying to get you to spend more money unnecessarily. For instance, certain cars have transmission fluid that is claimed to last a lifetime. Though the change time on transmission fluid is very long, it should be swapped every 80,000 miles.
Put your car on jack stands if you’re storing it. Do not use the parking brake, and store only in a dry location so as to prevent rusting.
If your brakes are having issues and you try to correct the problem, always bleed them before you start the car back up again. Take the time to pump brake fluid too. Examine closely to see if any leaking has occurred. You don’t want to run low on your brake fluid. Once you are finished with this, you are ready to rock-and-roll on the road and take that baby for a test drive on a street that has minimal traffic. Begin slowly and gradually pick up speed to determine if the issue is fixed.
You need to get some good recommendations for mechanics from friends. These mechanics have already proven their skills to a person you trust. It is a better idea than having work performed by someone you don’t know.
OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. Remember this term. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. This will allow you to have less of a chance at getting used parts from someone.
Do not add water to the compartment for windshield washer fluid. Water can clean the windshield, but it may damage the compartment since it is designed to use special fluid. You should check the level in the compartment and refill it regularly. This will help you stay safe while driving on the roads.
Look to AAA for reliable auto repairs. This is a great service to have when you are stranded and need help. Also, they often have discounts that can save you money.
When you are quoted by a mechanic, ensure he itemizes labor costs as well as cost of parts. This will help you compare estimates from two shops. Since the parts required for a given job will cost roughly the same at most garages, you can focus on the difference in the prices of their services.
If you have to put your vehicle in storage, place it on some jack stands and fill the gas tank. Place your car in a dry area during storage, to avoid rust. Also, leave the parking brake off.
You are likely going to have to face a mechanic when it comes to auto repair. You would not want to give your business to an untrustworthy auto mechanic. Be wary of mechanics that won’t answer your questions or make direct eye contact with you. This means that they are likely hiding something and will not be honest about repairs.
During the winter, use heavy-duty, rubber mats to protect your car’s carpet. This will protect the carpet from slush, mud, salt and other debris. These are a major must have item for the winter and rainy seasons.
If you are cleaning your car, remove the mats and spray them with the hose a few times. Dirt is something that can get lodged in your car’s mats and that can eat through it after a while. Holes allow water, salt and dirt to pass through to your carpets.
You can either trust a small garage or a dealership to get your vehicle fixed. Though dealerships may be pricier, the technicians there are probably more educated on the kind of car you have. While an independent may charge a little less, you don’t always know whether they are trustworthy.
Figure out if you want your car fixed by an actual dealership or an independent garage. While a dealer may charge more, their technicians specialize in the make and model of your particular vehicle. Local mechanics are cheaper, but their work isn’t guaranteed.
If your car isn’t running, it may not be necessary to spend a fortune to have it fixed. Quite often, you can fix basic issues by yourself. Make use of the preceding information to get back on the road.
Always get your auto repairs done at a shop that is authorized by the manufacturer. Your warranty will then cover many of the costs you incur during the vehicle’s operation. By visiting other dealers, your warranty may be void; therefore, you will have to pay more money.