Having your car suddenly stall and die while driving, especially on the highway, is not a pleasant feeling. This is a road hazard to yourself and others, but it also means you face repair bills unless you can fix the problem yourself. What makes a mechanic good? The following advice will help you get the best service.
Check out your mechanic to see if he is A.S.E. certified before allowing him to do any work on your vehicle. This certification means that the technician has passed a written test and has over 2 years of experience under his or her belt. This is one good way to separate the wheat from the chaff when picking a good mechanic.
Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. Your questions should focus on the problems your car has and also what steps you can take to prevent this problem from occurring in the future. Preventing car problems is a great, money-saving skill to have.
Check your coolant levels frequently. Let the car run a couple minutes, shut your engine and open up your hood. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Check radiator fluid by using a dipstick and remember to dilute coolant with water prior to adding it.
Make sure that you wash your car frequently to reduce rust and corrosion. Rust is an inevitability, but you can stave it off for a good while. Make sure you regularly wax your car so that you protect the paint.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. Future problems can be easily solved when auto technicians have access to past records. These records will make identifying issues much easier to diagnose and will save you time and money.
Before you pay for repairs, take the car out for a spin to make sure things are working as they should. Lots of people skip this practice and they might end up not solving the issue they initially came in for.
Independent mechanics can be great. Mechanics who work from home are often able to charge less because they don’t have the overhead that shops do. This can save you a lot of money, and at the same time, help out a small auto shop instead of letting a big shop profit.
Inquire about labor rates and overall cost before handing your keys to the mechanic. Some repair shops have details about their rates posted on the walls, but you should not hesitate to ask about rates if you do not see any information. Also find out how you are to be billed. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
Check your tire pressure every time you fill up your gas tank. Make sure there are no objects embedded in your tires at the same time. If you notice any problems with your tires, have them checked by a professional. You do not want to risk driving around with faulty tires.
Don’t try to diagnose complicated issues. Don’t forget that you are not a repair wizard. What seems like something small may actually be quite complicated, particularly in modern cars. Let the mechanics handle the diagnosis. Give them every detail about what happened and if there were any sounds associated with the problem, and let them diagnose the trouble.
Don’t allow auto mechanics to persuade you that getting an engine flushed is normal maintenance. This service is costly, and it is not really needed unless you haven’t been taking good care of your engine.
It’s not uncommon to drop off you car for one repair and then be told that there are more repairs needed. 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 you will contact them later, then take the time to search for a better deal.
Once a mechanic has replaced parts on your car, ask to have the old ones back. If he cannot provide this, he may not have done anything with your car. This is a red flag that should be raised.
If the mechanic provides a quote that goes over $200, get a written estimate. This can help you file a complaint if necessary. Besides, the mechanic will be less likely to add unnecessary repairs to your bill if he already provided you with a written quote.
If you don’t have basic knowledge about the car, you can’t recognize if something is going wrong. If you feel you are lacking in this department, think about signing up for a car repair class. Although these classes cost money, becoming more knowledgeable on car basics can save you money over the long run. With this knowledge, you can deal with things before they become big issues.
When a mechanic repairs your car, ask them for the old parts. This helps you know whether the repairs have actually been done. This isn’t particularly necessary for exhaust system replacement. It is easy to ascertain that your exhaust system has been replaced.
Speak with people you know to see if they can recommend a mechanic for you. You will feel more confident in their skills when they come recommended by someone that you know. It’s better than just asking around to see if anyone can help you that hasn’t been proven to be reliable.
Try to get each and every part itemized when you get your estimate. This will give you a good basis for comparison to save money. The parts’ cost should be very similar, so it will be labor that you truly compare.
It can be hard to pick a repair service for your car. If you’re equipped with great information, however, it is quite a bit easier to do so. You have the upper hand when you know what to look for. Keep this advice in mind if you have issues later.