No more wondering what the next step is when something goes wrong with your vehicle. Auto repair is not a simple subject, but you can know how to make the right decision regarding repairs. Continue reading to find out more about what to do next time your car breaks down.
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.
If you feel pressured by the garage or dealership you visit to get your car maintained or repaired, do not hesitate to leave. Reliable mechanics will not put any pressure on their customers and will focus on providing quality service. Follow your gut feeling and stay away from the mechanics who do not seem trustworthy.
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.
If there are two tools all cars should have, it is a jack and lug-nut wrench. With that, you also need an extra tire. Many new cars have these. This way you won’t get stuck anywhere and need to pay someone to tow you. It’s far more convenient and less costly to take care of it yourself.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.
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!
If your car needs body work, make sure you know what color paint you have on your vehicle. This information is important for the technician that works on your car. Also, your vehicle identification number is always something good to have on hand. In many cases, you will have to have it just to set up an appointment.
Ask for a guarantee when you get your car repaired. Make sure you get it in writing and that you understand what it covers. You may also want to pay a little more at a dealership to have big jobs done, such as a transmission overhaul. This guarantees your work will be covered regardless of where you are.
Be certain your technician is properly certified. One to look for is the certification given by the NIAE. This demonstrates the mechanic has shown a level of competence. This indicates that they are properly trained and will give you quality service.
Do not allow an auto repair technician to convince you that getting your engine flushed is a normal maintenance process. This service is costly, and it is not really needed unless you haven’t been taking good care of your engine.
Always get your timing belt repaired at the proper time, according to your tune-up schedule. A timing belt going out can cause major engine damage, leading to much bigger repairs. Those repairs can run into the thousands of dollars, so don’t ignore that timing belt – you may be sorry if you do!
If you are taking your car to the repair shop for service, be sure you know how they charge for the work being done. Many shops charge a flat rate for most jobs, but others charge based on the amount of time it takes to complete a repair. While both methods can be quite legitimate, it is useful to know which approach your shop is using to help you anticipate final costs.
You should now be able to make the right decision next time you have a problem with your car. Don’t get stuck on the side of the road. Don’t overpay for your parts. Don’t get duped by the side-street mechanic. Instead, get treated right with the tips that have been discussed here.