Auto repair can be a headache whether you do it yourself or hire someone. Doing your own maintenance work on your car is difficult because of a lot of computerized systems. Using an auto repair shop is expensive but probably necessary. Use the tips in this article to find the best way to keep your car well maintained.
Regularly check your radiator. Run your car, turn it off then pop the hood. Never open the radiator on a running car. Use a dipstick to check the radiator’s fluid level, and remember to always mix water in with your coolant if need be. Some coolants come premixed.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
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.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
It is very important to keep records of all your auto repairs. Having detailed records will be useful if you need to perform more repairs on your vehicle. If you lack such records, you may end up paying more money for diagnostic work.
If you need to get your car fixed after an accident, you should contact your insurance to get a list of approved mechanics. Going to an approved mechanic means your insurance will cover some of your expenses. Besides, you are more likely to find a good certified mechanic if you go to a professional chosen by your insurance company.
Avoid unexpected auto repair problems while driving by performing a basic safety check before you set out in your car. Start your engine, turn on your lights and your flashers and walk all the way around your car. Check your tires and make sure your lights and flashers are working properly. This simple check will ensure a safer ride and help you avoid the need for emergency repairs.
Ask for a guarantee when you get your car repaired. Make sure you get it in writing and that you understand what it covers. You may also want to pay a little more at a dealership to have big jobs done, such as a transmission overhaul. This guarantees your work will be covered regardless of where you are.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle when you bring it to be repaired. It is true that most shops have very trust worthy employees, but not all do, and you do not want to be a victim of theft. Instead, protect yourself by cleaning your vehicle and removing anything that is not attached to the car.
There are some shops that do devious things to your car if you are not paying attention. They prey on the ignorant, those who don’t pay much attention to their car. Put chalk marks on the tires prior to bringing the car in. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Be sure to verify that the shop that you is properly licensed. If they are not, there is probably a reason for it, which could range from fraud to faulty repairs. Never use a shop that does not hold all of the licenses that they should in order to operate as a business.
Always get your timing belt repaired at the proper time, according to your tune-up schedule. A timing belt going out can cause major engine damage, leading to much bigger repairs. Those repairs can run into the thousands of dollars, so don’t ignore that timing belt – you may be sorry if you do!
Be sure to get a written estimate from your auto mechanic before he does nay work on your car. Even if he tells you a price verbally, you should try getting it down on paper. Many states do not allow anyone to charge too much more than the estimate given at the beginning.
Sometimes parts of your car will need to be replaced. In the event of this, tell your repair shop to use OEM parts rather than generic parts. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. The OEM parts will give your car the best performance possible, while the cheaper generic parts may leave your car running less efficiently and increase the risk of problems in the future.
When your auto repair technician recommends a standard service like a radiator flush, be sure to ask why it is necessary. Find out if you will have problems if it is not done immediately. Once satisfied that the service needs to be done now, be sure to find out exactly how much you will pay. Knowing the cost of parts and labor and getting a firm estimate in advance will save you from unpleasant surprises.
Your car’s engine is the most important component. Without the engine, your car cannot run. If your engine is old, replacing it is vital. If you are doing this yourself, then it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, make sure you disconnect the battery so that you prevent wires from shorting out. Second, it is important that the tools you use are clean and not rusted. Third, use the proper jack for jacking up your vehicle. There are other things you need to be aware of, but these three are especially important.
Owning a car can be an expensive proposition, but repairing one can cost even more. Proper maintenance of your car is the best way to make sure it does not need to be repaired. Be sure you are making the right choices in keeping your car maintained properly by reading the information in this article.