Auto repair is a topic in which many people are not very knowledgeable. Therefore, they usually turn to professional auto repair shops and mechanics. Although these professionals can help fix any problems your car is having, they often come at a hefty price. Because of this, you need to know some basic advice on how to select the best shops and mechanics that will do the best job at the lowest cost. You also need to know how to resolve small issues yourself so that you do not spend your hard-earned money when it is not necessary. Thankfully, this article is here to help.
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.
Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible. Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.
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.
Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. The majority of new cars have them automatically. You never want to be without them, as you could end up having to pay for an expensive tow. It’s cheaper to do on your own.
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. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. You will need these in case you ever have a flat tire. Keep in mind that the jack must hold the car up securely, particularly if you’re under it. Hydraulic floor jacks with a stand should definitely be considered for purchase.
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 are planning a DIY auto repair, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete it. Start early in the day with all of the tools, parts and fluids that you will need close at hand. Remember that, no matter how well you plan, something unexpected will come up and consume your time. Avoid running out of daylight by getting an early start that will allow you to cope with the unexpected.
Take your owner’s manual with you when you go to the auto repair shop to get work done. If someone tells you that you need to get a service after a certain amount of miles, check and see if that matches what is in the manual. If it does not, let them know that you decline that particular service.
Always ask for an estimate in writing before you agree to have any work done. This way, if the shop tries to charge you more later you will have the estimate to prove what you had agreed on. Some shops do this on a regular basis, so be sure to protect yourself by getting it in writing.
Be sure to request a written cost estimate for all repair work to be done on your automobile. The estimate must identify the specific work to be done, as well as what the repairs will cost you. It is essential that the estimate is signed by a representative of the company.
Although mechanics from your dealer are usually expensive, there are times when using them is absolutely necessary. Your dealer’s mechanics are usually specialists in your car’s model. They are trained to quickly diagnose problems commonly found in the type of car you own. These mechanics regularly receive additional training.
You should now be aware of basic tips on auto repair. You can now make smarter decisions on auto repair shops, and resolve any small issues on your own so that you can save your money. Utilize these tips, and you will be surprised at the results you will obtain.