Surely you have had nasty car repair experiences in the past. You may have had good ones at well, but no one likes shelling out tons of money and wondering what is really going on. Instead, you want the knowledge necessary to make well-informed decisions next time you are dealing with car repairs.
Make sure you get quality parts to fix your car.
You can usually get better prices if you get used parts from a junk yard but there is no way of knowing how long these parts will last. Do not hesitate to spend more on brand new parts that come with a guarantee.
Save fuel by driving as if you have a glass of water sitting on your dashboard. This practice helps you avoid jack rabbit starts and quick stops. Each time you accelerate quickly, the engine of your car uses more fuel than it would if you were to accelerate at a gradual increase in speed.
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.
Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible.
Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.
When you top off your motor oil, avoid spilling oil on your engine by wadding up a couple of paper towels around the oil receptacle on the crank-case. This will absorb drips and spills. Be sure to dispose of your empty oil container and the paper towels responsibly when finished adding oil.
Understand the repair costs prior to leaving your car with any shop.
Labor costs especially can run at different levels from shop to shop, especially if a specialist is involved. You’ll want to know what you are getting into prior to learning about it the hard way days later.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand.
The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.
Check your tire pressure regularly.
Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
Take your vehicle to a full service car wash a couple times a year for an extensive cleaning, inside and out. This removes most of the soil and helps preserve the interior of your car. This can pay off when you want to sell or trade your car in for a newer one.
Feel more confident now that you have the proper information to help guide you through your next car repair. You don’t want to get in a web of destruction which comes from making the wrong decisions. Instead, you want to be on top of your game with the information that you’ve been given.