If you’re an adult in this country, chances are you own or finance a vehicle of some kind. And if you’ve got an automobile, you are going to need repairs sooner or later. Here are some tips that will help you, whether you choose to attempt repairs yourself, or get them done by a service.
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.
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.
Pay attention to the gauges and trouble lights on your cars dash. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a car that is overheating, low on oil or not charging the battery. Knowing which of these indicators need immediate attention can prevent damage to your car and save you cash in the long run.
If any parts of your car need to be replaced, make sure you ask for the (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturer parts instead of generic parts. Keeping the exact specifications required by the manufacturer is essential in having optimum performance. Although generic parts are cheaper, spending a little more on OEM parts will make a big impact on your car’s longevity.
If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.
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.
Do your research prior to choosing any auto repair company. Don’t trust solely the company’s website. Look to auto forums and be wary of any complaints you may see. Also take into consideration any rave reviews the auto shop receives. These are typically objective reviews, so you can trust them more than what the shop’s materials may say.
Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.
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.
If you are planning a DIY auto repair, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete it. Start early in the day with all of the tools, parts and fluids that you will need close at hand. Remember that, no matter how well you plan, something unexpected will come up and consume your time. Avoid running out of daylight by getting an early start that will allow you to cope with the unexpected.
Few people take the time to go over the manual that comes with their vehicle. It’s important that you understand the specifics of your model. Your manual tells you all that you should know about how you can maintain your car yourself.
D not fall for the “free oil change” trick. This is just a way for someone to convince you that unnecessary things need to be done to your vehicle. Most of the time, low-quality oil is used and it is not good for your car. Stick with using the type of oil the manufacturer recommends.
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.
Now that you’ve read this article, you should have an idea of what to keep in mind when you need auto repairs. Getting your vehicle fixed can help you to have a sense of confidence on the road, so make sure you keep your auto running well by using the tips here. That way, you can keep your car as long as you need it.