When your vehicle breaks down, getting it running again should be your priority. Not having a vehicle can significantly hinder your life. However, you needn’t break the bank to have your car fixed. You can perform many simple repairs yourself, as well as find a way to save money on auto repair shops whenever they are necessary.
Always have a good battery charger in your car. Having a dead battery can leave you stranded in some pretty terrible places. The charger has special connecting points that you should be aware of when hooking it up to a car.
Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up the hood. Never open your radiator if your vehicle is running. Look to see what the fluid level is (use a dipstick), and remember that coolant needs to have a bit of water added prior to entering your radiator.
Don’t sign anything until you know the total cost of repairs. If something is not clear, clarify it with the service adviser or mechanic before starting any repair on the car. This will give you a good idea of what you will be paying.
Make sure the repair shop technician is familiar with the particular model of your vehicle. If they have done so, this should inform you that they know what your car needs to work properly.
Keep a record of every car repair. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. Without them, you may end up paying for more diagnostic tests, and it will be more difficult to learn where the issue is stemming from.
Look for online reviews about your chosen body shop. This can give you a good indication of how satisfied customers are with their work. Use this information to choose a shop that you’re comfortable with giving money to.
Request OEM parts. OEM parts means that part was produced by the manufacturer specifically for your make and model of vehicle. While they often cost a little more, they typically work better for longer periods of time. What is a cheap option now could be an expensive option later.
Do not leave any items in your vehicle if you are taking it to be repaired. These items may need to be removed anyway, and they aren’t responsible for lost or missing items. Empty the trunk too.
You should have a do-it-yourself repair kit in your car at all times. Make sure you have something to change a tire. Get a lug wrench or a jack. You need both types of screw drivers, a ratchet set, torque wrench, and socket wrenches. Don’t get cheap tools. Buy quality ones that you are sure won’t fail when you really need them.
If the repairs your car needs are major, get several quotes before hiring a mechanic. If you don’t, you might be paying for more work than you actually need. Check out other options which are trustworthy. These places probably have a better understanding of what you’re going to need done to your vehicle.
Pay attention to the condition of your car’s wiper blades. You may need new blades if they are streaking or making noises. You should replace them yearly, but you may need to do it twice a year if you are located in a rainy area.
Talk to your friends about their auto repair experiences before choosing a repair shop. Friends and family can help with recommendations. But make sure that you still do your research on anyone they mention. At the very least, look to online reviews to check out how others feel about the shop in question.
Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. Some repair shops have details about their rates posted on the walls, but you should not hesitate to ask about rates if you do not see any information. You have a right to know how much a repair will cost and what it will consist of. Are the repair times established? Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
Don’t stop washing your car in winter. Winter can be hard on your vehicle. With so much sand and salt around, you are just asking for rust and abrasion. Your car should be dried thoroughly before getting back on the road again.
Take a second to read the manual and learn about the different components within your vehicle before visiting a mechanic. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. New parts are newly created to the specifications of the manufacturer. Rebuilt or reconditioned parts are basically ones that have been restored and now are working well. Salvage parts are parts that are used and have never been altered.
Never let a mechanic tell you that you need to have your entire engine flushed as normal maintenance. Flushing your engine is generally unnecessary unless you’ve subjected it to great abuse, (like a long time between oil changes) and it’s simply too expensive to purchase unless your car really needs it.
As this article has shown you, it is possible to make minor repairs to your car without the need of an auto shop. At the same time, if you have to take your car to an auto shop, you now know how to save the most money and time. Sometimes, you can even do the repairs yourself. Apply what you’ve just learned, and keep your car running its best.