There are some things that are very easy to learn on your own when it comes to repairing your car. Whether you have issues with the tires, brakes or other common problems, you can fix it yourself! Read this article for ways on using auto repair to your advantage in the future.
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.
When searching for an auto repair shop, you should choose one that specializes in the brand of vehicle you have. While there are probably many trustworthy shops in your area, going with one specializing in your car makes it more likely that the technician knows what they are doing. They will also probably have many parts needed for your car.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
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.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
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 your car needs major repairs, get multiple quotes for the necessary repair. Although most auto shops are reliable, you don’t want to pay too much. Check out other options which are trustworthy. These mechanics will most likely be more experienced in fixing your kind of car.
Pay attention to any fluids that pool under you car when parked. Small spots may not mean very much, but take note of what the fluid is. Plain water is usually just condensation that builds up on a car naturally. But bright green or orange fluid is the cooling system. Oily fluids are those like engine oil, or transmission fluid. These are warning signs.
Prior to leaving your car for a diagnosis, ask the repair shop about any fees associated with it. The auto repair shop absolutely has the right to charge a diagnosis fee, in fact it’s pretty standard. Though, if it seems out of line with other prices in your area, you may want to go to another shop.
Find out about labor rates before you let a mechanic work on your car. You should have your mechanic diagnose the issues and assess how much work will be needed. Make sure you understand how the mechanic will bill you and have a manager give you an estimate of how much labor time is needed instead of trusting a technician who is not responsible for giving quotes.
To help you ensure your car is always operating as efficiently as possible, take your vehicle in for a tune up at a local service station. Allowing a professional to look at your car on a regular basis will ensure that all of your car’s parts are working properly and there are no lingering issues.
Invest in a detailed repair manual for your vehicle. Even if you are not comfortable enough to fix your car yourself, you will at least get a better idea of how your car runs and perhaps diagnose a few problems yourself. Being knowledgeable will help you recognize an honest mechanic too.
Always get a second opinion before you have an expensive repair done. No one is perfect, so there is a chance that the shop is wrong about what is needed done. Additionally, you may be able to find someone to do the work for a far cheaper price than what your original shop quoted you.
Learn the basics in your car repair manual. Even if you do not plan on doing the repair yourself, learning the basics about your car can help you pinpoint problems quickly. This can help you save money when taking it to a mechanic. You can tell the technician what you think the problem is, saving on labor costs diagnosing the problem.
Set dollar limits on how much work can be done to a car without permission. Never allow the auto repair workers to have free rein of your car, at least not where costs are concerned. You should set a dollar limit that cannot be exceeded unless authorized by you beforehand.
A car can be a huge investment. Besides needing it for transportation to work, school or other important destinations, it makes life easier and more convenient. Take care of your car the best you can! Remember the tips in this article so you can do auto repair yourself and save money.