If you are careless with your car repairs, you can end up shelling out a lot of money. It is important to familiarize yourself with your car and learn more about simple methods you can use to fix small problems. Keep reading to find out how you can save time and money down the road.
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.
There are many how-to videos that you can turn to for auto repairs. Everything from a simple tire change to changing your fuel filter can be found in video form. These videos will take you through each step in making the repair and will save you the time and the cost of taking it to a mechanic.
Do you have a hard time starting your car? Your battery probably needs to be recharged or replaced. You need to check the state of charge of your battery. You can use a hydrometer or a voltmeter depending on the type of battery you have. If you have been regularly recharging your battery, it might be time for a new one.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
Look for an auto repair shop that displays their certifications for everyone to see. Get a good look at it to make sure that they are current. Even if they are certified, that does not guarantee quality work, but there is a greater chance of the work getting done correctly.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These parts are original and from the manufacturer. While generic could be a cheaper option, you don’t know how they will perform in the future. What saves you a bit of money in the short term, may end up costing you dearly in the long term.
Keep accurate records on what work has been done on your car and when. Many repair shops will keep this information for you, but that only works if you see them for everything for major breakdowns to oil changes. This can help in diagnosing problems, as you can show what fixes have already been attempted.
Replacing a burnt-out headlight or taillight is much cheaper when you do it by yourself. It’s simpler in some vehicles than others, but doing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring a mechanic. Ask for help from friends and family.
Ask your auto mechanic about their A.S.E. certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a test twice a year for it. To earn this certification, mechanics must pass a written test while also having about two years of work experience in auto mechanics and repair. This certification increases your chances of finding competent mechanics.
Although the dealer for your car’s make may provide the highest expertise when it comes to repair service, it may not always be the most cost effective choice. Many independent car repair shops have technicians that formerly worked at dealerships and are factory trained. You may be able to save a good amount by choosing an independent shop over the dealer, without a loss of quality.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don’t toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle when you bring it to be repaired. It is true that most shops have very trust worthy employees, but not all do, and you do not want to be a victim of theft. Instead, protect yourself by cleaning your vehicle and removing anything that is not attached to the car.
As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to learning about the basics of auto repair. Besides the fact that you’ll be able to teach people some things and know how to fix things yourself, you’ll have some extra money in the end too. Keep this advice in mind the next time you think you may be able to attend to a few basic repairs yourself.