If you feel uneasy about trusting the first opinion you get on what is wrong with your car, do not feel bad about this. It is in fact a very good thing. Always ask questions and insist that a mechanic justify any major repairs that he or she is recommending.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
When performing your own car repairs, make sure you budget enough time to get the job done. It’s easy to underestimate how long a repair job will take. You may encounter difficult to remove bolts or nuts, or find out a part is harder to remove than you anticipated. Giving yourself enough time to complete the repair safely will make the job much less stressful.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
Changing a car battery is quick and easy. It usually involves unfastening a clip on top of the battery and using a wrench to loosen and remove the connectors. (Naturally, you should do this with your engine off!) Brush the connectors clean with a wire brush. Lift out the old battery and put the new battery in its place. Fasten the connectors securely and refasten the clasp. You should be good to go!
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won’t be ripped off.
Keep a log that includes information on any maintenance that you have ever done on your car. To make things easy, put this log in your glove compartment box. If there is an issue with your car, this information can help the technician figure out what is going on much more quickly.
When a problem is big, don’t self-diagnose it. It’s important to remember that you’re not the expert. The problem may seem simple, but you might find out it’s more complex. Leave the diagnosing to your auto repair shop. You should inform them about what you know, but let them diagnose it.
It is important to get a warranty on your car when it gets repaired. This is even more important if the parts put in are pricy. When the mechanic orders the parts, ask him about their warranty. Ask about the length of the warranty, and ask to be provided with a written copy of it.
You do not need to purchase a new filter every time you go in to have an oil change. The auto repair person may show you a worn filter next to a new one and claim it is yours, but be firm and let them know that you do not need a new one right now.
Ask auto body shops that you are considering if they offer a warranty on their repairs. Any reputable shop is more than happy to guarantee their work on new parts for at least a few months. If any one that you talk to does not you should certainly find a different shop.
Pay attention to your check engine light! If one of your warning lights is illuminated, take that as a warning! Don’t neglect it! The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to give you early notification of potential problems. By taking your car to an auto repair shop as soon as one of these lights is lit, you can nip the problem in the bud!
It may be pricey to use the dealer’s mechanic, but it’s often the safest option. The technicians who work at the dealer are often specialists in your model of car. They can pinpoint the problem quickly and are trained to fix problems common to your model. Regular training sessions are also part of their job.
Always ask for a detailed bill for the repairs done to your vehicle. Go over the bill with a mechanic and ask questions if you do not understand the kind of work that was done on the car. Ask how much time was spent on each item and make sure this adds up to what you were billed for labor.
The condition a repair shop is in tells you a lot about the service you can expect from them. If everything is out of place and messy, that is the way the job may get done. Try to do business with a shop that is neat and clean and full of modern equipment.
As you know from the tips in this article, there are things you can do empower yourself when it comes to keeping your car in good running condition. Just because you are not a mechanic yourself does not mean that you must be vulnerable to potential fraud. Speak your mind, be proactive and then trust your automobile to the hands that you choose.