Owning a car is quite a freedom. You can go wherever you want, at any time you want. The flip side is that you could also find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere. The advice included here will help you handle that situation if it arises.
Before you let the mechanic work on your car, make sure that you have all of the prices down. Ask about any additional fees that may come up during the repair and any charges that you may not be aware of. This will ensure that you are not surprised when the bill comes for your car repair.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don’t want to have to pay extra later to fix those “repairs”.
Inquire about labor rates and overall cost before handing your keys to the mechanic. Ask questions until you are sure you have clear answers. Also find out how you are to be billed. Many car dealerships may charge by “book time” which is a set rate based on how long the repair should take to do. Even a minor job might take all day.
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.
When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.
You should not choose a repair shop or a mechanic right away if you are rushed. If your car needs some repairs right away, find a friend or family member who can lend you their vehicle or give you rides until you find a reliable garage or dealership to repair your vehicle.
Many auto repair shops will tell you that you need your fuel injectors replaced when you do not. This is a way to get some more money from you. The proper time to replace them is after every 35,000 miles of driving. If anyone tells you that it needs to be done sooner, look for someone else to do your auto repairs.
You do not need to purchase a new filter every time you go in to have an oil change. The auto repair person may show you a worn filter next to a new one and claim it is yours, but be firm and let them know that you do not need a new one right now.
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.
Before you make an appointment to take your car to the mechanic, take a moment to look through your cars owner’s manual. You may find that the problem you are experiencing is the result of failing to understand how your car’s controls function rather than a malfunction requiring costly repairs.
Without knowing where your car problems lie, repairing your car is impossible. Therefore, you must be able to recognize problems when they arise. For example, if your car belt has cracks in the perpendicular edge, or pieces fall out, you need to replace it immediately. Failing to recognize problems on time can lead to permanent damage to your car; therefore, recognize and resolve these problems as soon as you can.
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.
If your car overheats on the highway, move to the side and turn off your engine as soon as you can. Don’t try checking on any liquids as they can burn you if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Rather, call a tow truck immediately to get you to your auto repair shop.
Never feel like you have to go to your dealer for any sort of auto repairs or maintenance. In fact, the dealer could be rather pricey compared an unaffiliated (yet still quality) local auto repair shop. Do your homework about where you are considering going, and then make the best call for yourself.
Don’t necessarily take your car to the most convenient place for repairs. This typically leads you to bring the vehicle somewhere that you wouldn’t ordinarily go to, and you probably won’t get the service that you deserve. If you aren’t sure about a shop, go in and have them do something small first. If you are satisfied, consider using them again.
You do not need to spend a fortune to get your car fixed if it breaks down. You can easily fix small problems yourself once you know more about auto repairs. Use all of these tips to help you with those types of repairs.