If you could fix your television or computer by yourself without taking it to a repair specialist, would you do it? Of course- it saves time and money! The same applies to your car. Read this article for tips on how to learn simple auto repair in order to save yourself a headache.
Pay attention to the gauges and trouble lights on your cars dash. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a car that is overheating, low on oil or not charging the battery. Knowing which of these indicators need immediate attention can prevent damage to your car and save you cash in the long run.
The best way to find a good auto mechanic is getting referrals. Talk to anyone you know and get recommendations from them. You can find out great information about price and value that way. You’ll get a real feel for the experience and the honesty of the mechanic.
You must keep good track of all your car records. These should be kept in the glove compartment of your vehicle for easy access out on the road. Professional mechanics will ask to review the records. They aid in speeding up the diagnosing process.
If you feel pressured by the garage or dealership you visit to get your car maintained or repaired, do not hesitate to leave. Reliable mechanics will not put any pressure on their customers and will focus on providing quality service. Follow your gut feeling and stay away from the mechanics who do not seem trustworthy.
Understand how the repair shop you are considering charges before signing any agreements. Some shops will charge a flat fee for labor, while others base it off of time. Some will opt for original parts, while others will use generics. Know what you have ahead of you before being accountable.
Changing a car battery is quick and easy. It usually involves unfastening a clip on top of the battery and using a wrench to loosen and remove the connectors. (Naturally, you should do this with your engine off!) Brush the connectors clean with a wire brush. Lift out the old battery and put the new battery in its place. Fasten the connectors securely and refasten the clasp. You should be good to go!
Choose a mechanic that is happy to explain the problem to you. Some mechanics feel that they know so much that the customer could never understand, but even if you do not fully understand the problem or what is being done, they should be happy to try their best to inform you about it. It is a huge sign that they are a good mechanic all-around.
Keep a log that includes information on any maintenance that you have ever done on your car. To make things easy, put this log in your glove compartment box. If there is an issue with your car, this information can help the technician figure out what is going on much more quickly.
If you take your car to an auto repair shop to get one thing fixed and they tell you that other repairs are needed, thank them for the information and decline the additional services. Go to several other places and get quotes before allowing them to do any more work on your car.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
Don’t ignore a “Check Engine” light. Many people think it’s ok since they continue to run their car with no obvious issues. But a check engine light would have never appeared unless some internal check failed. It’s best to get it looked into immediately, or you run the risk of a larger problem down the road.
If you are considering a do-it-yourself auto repair, make very sure that you know what you are getting in to. Get a qualified quote for having a professional do the work for you, then determine what it will take in parts and tools for you to do it yourself. It could very well be that you will not save that much and will be risking things such as safety and reliability of your vehicle.
Keep good records of your car’s repair history and maintenance schedules. This often helps a mechanic diagnose problems more quickly. Without a good history of the car, the mechanic may waste time finding the problem. This can be expensive. In addition, when you keep good records, it tells the mechanic you take car maintenance seriously, and that you know what you are doing. They are less likely to “pad” your bill, since they know you are well informed.
As said in the beginning of this article, learning how to repair things on your own makes life much easier in the long run. Besides saving money, you can get a sense of pride from fixing your car yourself. Remember the tips in this article so you can use auto repair whenever you need it!
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