When your car next needs repairs, would you like to do them yourself? A lot of people go see a mechanic for very small problems because they are not confident or knowledgeable enough about auto repairs. Use the article below as a guide to repairing your vehicle. You’ll feel satisfied when you fix it and you’ll also save money.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
Referrals will lead you to a great mechanic. Ask co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. You can learn a lot about the overall quality of a person’s work, the price, and the level of customer satisfaction. They can let you know if they had a good experience and whether or not the mechanic was trustworthy and honest.
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.
Keep your car’s owner manual handy. Knowing vital car information can really help when something unexpected occurs. If you know your car’s controls, you may even avoid a trip to a mechanic. If you do need a mechanic, you should have the make, model, and trim level available so that they can figure out things like your transmission configuration, size, etc. much quicker.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
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.
You may be able to replace the lights on your car yourself. This process is easier in specific vehicles and harder in others; however, doing this yourself is much more affordable than visiting a mechanic. Ask your friends and relatives if they can help with this small repair.
Avoid being run over by your own car! When you jack your car up, be sure to set your emergency brake. Place bricks behind the tires you are not working on to keep your car from rolling. Keep a set of wedges or three or four bricks in the trunk of your car in case you have to change a flat tire on a hill.
Make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold can be very hard on the vehicle’s system so you should properly maintain it. Some things you should do are check the tires, check the antifreeze, replace old wipers, and inspect windshield washer fluid. Driving is hard enough in the winter, so make things easier by making sure your vehicle can handle the harsher weather conditions.
Prior to allowing an auto repair shop to fix your car, get a written estimate of how much everything will cost. While the actual total may vary, this will give you some idea of what to expect. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. It is important to be knowledgeable when it comes to what is happening with your car.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
Educating yourself about your car is the first step to taking control of your car repairs and expenses. However, with some effort and knowledge, you can easily fix a lot of vehicle problems that occur. Take the knowledge you learned here and some tips you pick up on your own to save money in the future.