Automobile repairs are an inevitability. They can be extremely difficult to deal with. By taking the time to educate yourself on proper auto maintenance you can learn to perform your own minor car repairs and save a good chunk of money. This article is loaded with useful automotive repair tips and advice.
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.
Always carry a good emergency kit in the trunk of your car. You need tools to change a flat tire, charge a battery, and you must have spare gas. Also, add a flashlight, some batteries, and some blankets in case there is a nighttime breakdown.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
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.
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.
Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.
Follow your car’s tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.
Find a reputable auto repair shop in your area and take your car there every time it needs service. You should attempt to have the same mechanic work on your car when you take it there. This helps the mechanic to become familiar with your vehicle so he will notice problems sooner than someone else.
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.
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won’t be ripped off.
Go to a repair shop you are considering for the long haul with a smaller job first. It can be something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation. This will give you at least a better hint of their capabilities, workmanship and friendliness before a bigger issue occurs.
Make sure that the auto repair shop you go to offers a warranty on their services. There are plenty of repair shops that will do a shoddy job, and there is nothing you can do about that if you have no warranty. A warranty will give you the opportunity to get the problem fixed for no charge.
Avoid diagnosing your own car problems. Keep in mind that you aren’t an expert. What you may think is an easy fix may be a hard one, especially if your car is newer. Let repair shops diagnose your vehicle. Tell them every detail and let them do the rest.
If you need your car fixed, but are on a tight budget, you may want to contact your local vocation institution to see if they have an auto repair department. Students can do car repairs under the guidance of their licensed mechanic/instructor, and you can save a lot money having your car fixed there.
Talk it out with the service technician. He or she may know what they are doing, but they may fail to adequately communicate with you about what is going on. Therefore, don’t be afraid to question what they are telling you so that you are both on the same page. Communicate your needs clearly so they know what you expect as well.
The weather conditions in your area can have an impact on your vehicle. If you live in a very dusty area or if it is often below freezing during the winter, you will probably have to get your vehicle serviced more often. It is best to invest in a robust vehicle in the first place.
If you go to an auto mechanic and you are asking a lot of questions, take notice of his demeanor. It is perfectly normal for people to have questions about vehicle repairs. If he seems like he is bothered by you asking questions, you should probably go elsewhere to get your repairs done.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, automobile repairs are an annoying inevitability. At some point or another you will need to deal with car problems. By using the tips and advice contained in this article you can fix minor car problems yourself and avoid overspending on costly service fees.
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