Owning your own automobile can give you a wonderful sense of freedom. It’s great to get behind the wheel of your car and be able to go anywhere at anytime. But it can also leave you stranded on the roadside when a mechanical malfunction occurs. Apply the information that follows and get your car back in good shape.
Be sure and regularly check your radiator. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Be careful not to open your radiator if the car’s running. Check how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.
Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If a certain cost confuses you, don’t hesitate to clear this up with the mechanic before allowing him or her to make repairs to your vehicle. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.
Be sure to keep your car’s records. You may want to store them in the glove compartment for easy access. Professional mechanics will ask to review the records. This will help to diagnose any problems.
Always keep records each time your car is repaired. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. Not maintaining these records will likely mean you have to spend more money because diagnosing the problem will be harder for the mechanic to do.
See if you can find reviews about the body shop of your choice on the Internet. This lets you know how other people who have tried this mechanic before have felt about their experience. You can use the information to find a place you’ll feel comfortable spending your money at.
Consider using OEM parts. These are original parts direct from the manufacturer. Although generic parts are more affordable, OEM parts are better quality and will last longer. It may seem like you are getting a deal now, but it may end up costing you a lot in the future.
Keep a spare tire and jack handy at all times. They are usually included when you buy a car. You would hate to be stuck out in the road and be forced to spend money on a tow. It’s cheaper to do on your own.
Keep a repair kit in the car at all times. The tools you need include tire changing equipment, which usually come with a car. If you’re missing a lug wrench and jack, then you need to buy one. You may ask want to get a variety of screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches and the like. Cheap tools are not worth your money. Invest in quality tools that will not break as you perform repairs on your vehicle.
Always shop around and get a second opinion before paying for an expensive repair. Not all shops will be upfront about their prices, so ask anyone available for this information. You must be able to tell how the repairs are being billed to you. Some shops have estimated repair times that are established by specific manufacturers. A lot of repairs that seem to be easy to fix could end up taking a whole day in some cases.
Pay attention to all of the lights that flash in the dashboard, and make sure that you understand what each of them mean. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. Ignoring those for a long time can worsen issues later.
Make sure that you remind yourself of how often your oil needs to be changed. You can put yourself in danger if you do not get your oil changed regularly. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should quit washing your vehicle. Your car may get dirty again quickly, but all that buildup is terrible for your car. Roads filled with sand and salt can really do some corrosive damage to your car. Dry your car as often as you can during the winter to maintain quality.
Understand that visiting your dealer for auto repair work is not always necessary. There are many great technicians all over the place. If you feel a good comfort level with someone, you should hire them.
Few people even open their car’s instruction manual. Review this manual to learn how it’s to be used so that you can find helpful information quickly. Maintenance is key, but can only be done if you know what is required.
If you run into a serious problem on a brand new vehicle, you should get in touch with the manufacturer. This may be a recall situation but the manufacturer needs to be aware of the issue for the recall to occur. More often than not, the manufacturer will be able to fix the car for you.
A lot of auto repair is based on people being consistent in what they do. Try to use a trusted auto repair shop and avoid hopping from repair center to repair center. Every shop will vary in what they do and how they treat your vehicle. They might also charge you more for the work done.
If you want to be sure that someone is there for you if you need repairs, AAA may be able to help. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. Paying the membership fee will be worth it if you can benefit from a few discounts by going to certified mechanics.
Repairs do not always have to run into the thousands. There are many simple repairs you can do yourself. Utilize the tips that have been given you so that you can have a running vehicle.