Anyone who owns a car knows that it is a matter of time before something will need to be repaired. If you learn a little on the topic, you really can save lots of money and aggravation. Use the tips here to make repairs yourself when feasible. Use the tips for finding a good mechanic. These tips will help you save significant money in the future.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
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.
If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.
If you notice your windshield wipers are not removing all the water from your windshield when it rain, you may need to replace the blades. This is a simple fix anyone can do. Measure the blades and purchase new ones from an auto supply store. Remove the old ones and snap the new ones in place.
Basic maintenance like oil changes are actually very easy to do yourself. You only need at ramp, a pan, and a few basic tools. Just be sure to check with your city or county government beforehand to find out where to take your waste oil. It is extremely damaging to the environment, and you could face steep fines for dumping it out.
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.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
If you need new tires, do not get used ones from a garage or a junk yard. Used tires are not a good choice since they might be worn thin or have already been patched. Brand new tires are expensive but they are a good investment and will help you remain safe.
Try to find an auto repair shop that is located close to where you live or work. This may not seem like a big deal, but you do not want to have a hard time getting there when it is time for you to go and pick up your vehicle after it is repaired.
If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.
Take photos of your car ahead of a visit to the garage. Most shops would not strip your car, but there are those who do this to make extra money. It is in your best interest to have documentation of your vehicle’s condition, just in case.
You don’t want people selling you parts that are said to be guaranteed for life. This is total spin – just a way to grab more of your cash. A good example of this is transmission fluid that has a “lifetime guarantee”. While this does not need to be changed as often as typical fluid, you should still change it every 80,000 miles or so.
When your receive a mechanic’s diagnosis, ask them for a couple hours prior to deciding if you want your vehicle fixed. Contact other shops or dealerships to ask what they charge for the repairs the first shop is advocating. If you can get a cheaper price, simply pay the mechanic for the work they’ve done and go somewhere else.
Ask your mechanic if he is willing to use re-manufactured or salvaged parts. Using these parts can save you hundreds of dollars and is good for the environment as well. If he is unwilling to use them you may want to find someone else to work on your vehicle, as there really is no reason not to.
When you have work done at an auto body shop you should always ask them to provide you with the parts that were replaced on your vehicle. This is important because some shops will claim that they fixed things that they did not, but if you have the old parts in hand, you know exactly what was removed.
Problems with an automobile can really make a person stressed out and annoyed. It also can cost you a fortune. If you learn a little about the basics of car repair and apply the tips in this article, you will be able to keep your vehicle running and save yourself a lot of cash.