If you have run into some car trouble, you are far from alone. Part of owning a car is having to fix the numerous problems that arise with it. Getting it serviced at a repair shop is fine for serious problems, but why not take care of the little stuff on your own. The article below will show you how.
Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find.
You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
Purchase motor oil on sale and in discount stores and keep two or three bottles in the trunk of your car. Check your oil every time you fill your gas tank. If you find that your oil level is low, you will save lots of money by having your own oil on hand rather than purchasing it at a gas station for inflated prices.
Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend.
No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
Basic maintenance like oil changes are actually very easy to do yourself. You only need at ramp, a pan, and a few basic tools. Just be sure to check with your city or county government beforehand to find out where to take your waste oil. It is extremely damaging to the environment, and you could face steep fines for dumping it out.
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.
Keep a basic repair kit in your car trunk at all times.
A simple kit consisting of wrenches, jumper cables, screws, and a jack can be a lifesaver if your car breaks down on the road. This will allow you to make small repairs on the spot, saving you the cost of an expensive tow truck.
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.
Listen to your gut. If you bring your car into the shop and the technician doesn’t seem to be on the up and up, consider going somewhere else. At the very least, the person probably doesn’t care that much about you and your car, and you deserve better service than that.
Always inquire about the qualifications and experience of the technician who will be repairing your car.
You want to know if they have experience working on your make and model of car. You also want to know if your mechanic has any special qualifications, like A.S.E. certification, that demonstrate their competence.
If your key “sticks” when you put it in the ignition, you will most likely need a new ignition switch as soon as possible. Having your key stick usually indicates that the switch is failing. If that switch is not fixed in a timely fashion, you could get stranded somewhere.
Never feel like you have to go to your dealer for any sort of auto repairs or maintenance. In fact, the dealer could be rather pricey compared an unaffiliated (yet still quality) local auto repair shop. Do your homework about where you are considering going, and then make the best call for yourself.
Working on your car can make you feel uneasy, especially if you are new to auto repair. However, if you use the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you can’t successfully repair your auto problems. This way, you’ll save money, and feel great about tackling a problem yourself.