Having a car repaired can make you feel rather overwhelmed. Auto repairs do not need to be a headache, if you understand a little about them. Read this article to get a good basic knowledge before seeking out repair help.
Ensure your car has an emergency kit. A battery charger, tire changing tools and an extra can of gas are just a few of the items to have on hand. Bring a blanket and flashlights too, in case you are stranded.
You do not have to call a mechanic every time you are having car trouble. There are many things you can fix easily. If you would like to try it, you can research on the problem online. If the repair isn’t too difficult, you might be able to save money by doing it yourself.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable auto mechanic. Ask co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. You can learn a lot about the overall quality of a person’s work, the price, and the level of customer satisfaction. People will tell you about the mechanic’s honesty and if their experience was a good one.
Before having repairs, see if you can diagnose the problem. You will not be duped, and you can save tons of money when you find out the problem yourself. As you have likely heard, some mechanics will lie about the problem in order to make more money.
Keep a spare tire and jack in your trunk. Most vehicles come with them, but you want to check anyway. The cost of a tow for a flat isn’t worth it! Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. If you ignore them for a long time then you’ll just have an even worse problem later on.
Be sure to change your oil often enough. Look at your car’s manual to see when the manufacturer recommends oil changes. When your car does not get its oil changed on schedule, its life span can be shortened, so be sure that you remember the schedule.
Find technicians to do your auto repair tasks instead of your dealer. Good mechanics can be found elsewhere, not only at the dealer’s shop. If you find someone that you’re comfortable with, they should be used.
Think about snapping some photos of your car prior to taking it to the auto body shop. Most shops are reputable but there are always a few bad apples out there. Should something bad happen, it is helpful to have images of what your car looks like.
Warranties serve an important purpose when your car is repaired, especially when you buy expensive parts. Be sure and ask the mechanic what the warranty is on the parts that they have ordered. Ask about the length of the warranty, and ask to be provided with a written copy of it.
Don’t let a mechanic talk you into getting your car’s engine flushed when it doesn’t need it. It’s a costly process which is unnecessary unless you’re abusing your car.
There are no auto parts that will work forever, so don’t believe any claims to the contrary. Often, that’s their way of getting more money out of you. For instance, certain cars have transmission fluid that is claimed to last a lifetime. It is true that this fluid lasts much longer than standard transmission fluid, but you will still need to change it out at around 80,000 miles.
Consistency counts for something in auto repair. Make sure to find a good auto repair shop and then stick with it. The same mechanic will know your car inside and out and will be best qualified to work on it. They could also charge you more; don’t let this happen.
Join AAA if you need someone to help you with an auto repair. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. You can often find discounts on an annual AAA membership if you shop around.
Some things you can do yourself, including adding oil and other fluids. It is not true that these routine jobs should be left to the professionals. Learn how to do the job online, which has many resources to teach you, then jump right in.
After having a mechanic replace a car part, ask him to return the old one to you. If he does not want to do that, it may be because the part wasn’t actually replaced. You should be suspicious if this happens.
Save the receipts from all your car repairs in a single file. 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. Keeping these resources organized will also help you keep track of just how much car maintenance is costing you over time.
If you get a quote from a mechanic that is over $200, ask for it in writing. A written contract between you and the mechanic regarding repairs is your best insurance if you happen to end up in court. Also, when you have a written estimate, a mechanic will have a harder time putting unneeded repairs on your bill.
The more you know about your car, the easier it will be to understand problems that occur. If you know nothing about cars, you may want to take a auto repair class. While spending money on a good class might seem counteractive, you should consider how much this can save you in the future when dealing with repairs. Knowing the basics of car maintenance can help you pinpoint a problem before it becomes a major problem.
It’s an unarguable fact that car woes are a pain in the neck. However, when you know what you’re doing, they are not that bad. Know the information you just went over and you’ll know what you need to do if you encounter an issue.