Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
When doing your own work on your automobile, you want to make sure you never take things too far in error. You’re saving yourself some money by doing it yourself, but if you’re not sure about something, you need to find out or let a professional handle the matter. You could end up costing yourself so much money.
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.
Ask the technician at the repair shop you are considering if they have done work on the same make and model of vehicle before. A mechanic who has experience with the make and model you are driving will be able to diagnose issues quickly.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
Keep well-organized records on your car. You should have readily available records of everything in regards to maintaining your car when seeing a mechanic. Well-organized records can help them diagnose an issue correctly the first time. Unorganized records may lead to repeat repairs and lots of wasted money and time.
If you take your car to a mechanic, make sure they have the proper licenses and credentials. Before making your appointment, check their reviews online and their standing with the Better Business Bureau. Don’t just look at the positive reviews, but see how the company responds to negative feedback. Every business has the occasional problem, and if they handle the matter quickly and courteously, they may be worth a second look.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. They are included with most new vehicles. You don’t need to be stuck somewhere you don’t know and need to pay a lot for towing. Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
Don’t get sucked into to the lure of aftermarket parts for new cars. You want your baby to run as well as possible for as long as possible, and that means spending the extra to get parts that match the ones already in your car. Trying to get that clunker to run just a few more miles? Save the money and take the aftermarket versions.
Don’t ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user’s manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don’t be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.