When you don’t know how to maintain your car, it will cost you money. On top of getting familiar with your specific model, you also need to learn other tricks. Read on to save yourself time and money in the future.
Check your radiator frequently. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up the hood. Never open the radiator on a running car. Use a dipstick to check the amount of fluid in the radiator. You should also make sure to mix coolant fluid with water before you pour it into your radiator.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend. No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.
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.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
Memorize each light and symbol on your dash instrument panel. When one lights up, it helps to understand what you’re dealing with. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. If you keep ignoring them it’ll make the problem worse.
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.
Listen for any strange noises that your car may be making. These may be popping sounds, knocks, squeals, or something else. They are definitely symptoms of some sort of issue that needs auto repair. Keep a log of when you hear them, and note the type of driving you were doing when they occurred. It will help the auto shop diagnose the issue properly.
You can fix small dents with a suction cup dent puller. This usually works for very small dents that can easily be covered with the suction cup. If the cup does not work, you will have to apply some filler into the dent, sand and paint until it becomes invisible.
Always keep in mind that attempting auto repair on your own has its share of hazards. Have someone assist you and make sure they are ready to react to emergencies. Buy tools that are of a good quality so they’re not going to break when you use them. This holds true particularly in the case of the tools needed for changing tires. Keep in mind that the jack you use needs to safely hold the car up, especially when you go under the car. That’s why it’s smart to use a good hydraulic floor jack with approved jack stands.
As stated earlier, it can be to your benefit to learn basic auto repair techniques. Besides the fact that you’ll be able to teach people some things and know how to fix things yourself, you’ll have some extra money in the end too. So keep these tips handy, and next time, you will be able to repair your car yourself.
via MA-60 E and Salem St
Best route, lighter traffic than usual
via Salem St