When you need your car fixed, you usually need it done as soon as you can. That’s why it’s important for you to not only know what needs to be done, but how you will get it repaired. Whether you will do the repairs or plan to take it to a mechanic, here are some smart auto repair tips.
Checking and repairing the air conditioning in your car is quite complex. If you need to have it checked or fixed, find a mechanic with an air conditioning certification. The gas used for air conditioning is potentially dangerous and this system is a lot more complex than the other parts in your vehicle.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your car to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.
When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
Ask your friends and family for advice on a trust worthy auto body shop. It can be very hard to find a shop that will not rip you off or produce poor quality work. Asking for advice can save you from a lot of wasted money and time trying to do it on your own.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
Try finding a reliable mechanic who works from their own garage. These types of mechanics are sometimes not licensed or insured, but charge much less and can do really great work. You could save a lot of money this way.
Keep a basic repair kit in your car trunk at all times. A simple kit consisting of wrenches, jumper cables, screws, and a jack can be a lifesaver if your car breaks down on the road. This will allow you to make small repairs on the spot, saving you the cost of an expensive tow truck.
Ask about the warranties associated with any new parts going into your car. Most new parts will include a warranty. If something goes wrong with that part after the repair, you’ll be covered for the replacement. Know how long the warranty is good for and if there are any stipulations tied to it.
Make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold can be very hard on the vehicle’s system so you should properly maintain it. Some things you should do are check the tires, check the antifreeze, replace old wipers, and inspect windshield washer fluid. Driving is hard enough in the winter, so make things easier by making sure your vehicle can handle the harsher weather conditions.
Know what your manufacturer recommends for your car. If you take your vehicle in to get fixed, and you receive contradictory information, go somewhere else. You can also call the technician on the discrepancy. Ask them why they are saying something different than the manufacturer. There could be a good reason, or they could be simply trying to talk around you.
Always get a second opinion before you have an expensive repair done. No one is perfect, so there is a chance that the shop is wrong about what is needed done. Additionally, you may be able to find someone to do the work for a far cheaper price than what your original shop quoted you.
Trust your gut when choosing a mechanic. The employees at the auto repair shop should look you in the eye, make you feel comfortable, answer any questions you have clearly and provide any pricing information you request. A shop that fails to meet these basic requirements probably does not have your best interest at heart.
Be certain that the mechanic who performs your auto repairs is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE certification is offered two times a year to mechanics who have two years of experience working as auto mechanics. It is a written test that helps identify competent auto mechanics.
Some repairs to your car are free. Certain makes and models of cars have a known manufacturer defect. If that is the case, you will likely receive a recall notice in the mail, telling you how to get the defect repaired. You can check online as well, at the NHTSA site, which lists known recall notices.
Properly preserve your vehicle if you know that you won’t be driving it for some extended period of time. This involves filling the gas tank to prevent unwanted condensation, waxing the body and windows, and disengaging the parking brake. This keeps all the different components in the best possible condition until you return to driving.
With these tips, you should feel more comfortable about fixing your car. You should know have some ideas that can help you to get your automobile repaired quickly, so that you can go on with your life. Don’t wait until you have a problem with your car; keep this information on hand so you have somewhere to start.