Understanding auto repair may seem difficult, but you can master it. Learning all you can now will come in handy in the future. Learn how to repair your car yourself and avoid trips to the repair shop.
Always carry a good emergency kit in the trunk of your car. Be sure the kit has tools for charging the battery, adding gas to the tank, and changing tires. Do not forget blankets and a good flashlight with some batteries.
Inspect your radiator once in a while. To do this, you need to allow your car to run several minutes, and then turn off the engine. You are now ready to open up your hood. Never open the radiator while the car is on. Use a dipstick to gauge how much radiator fluid you have, keeping in mind that most types need to be diluted with water.
Make sure to study your owners manual. The auto repair shop people will ask you specific information about your car. Sometimes you may find things that you can easily fix yourself and do not require a trip to the dealership.
Never forget about your wiper blades. If you notice your windshield wipers are not working properly, get new ones. They should be replaced yearly or more frequently if you drive in a rainy locale.
The labor rate should be posted in your repair shop. If it is not, ask. Also ask the price of a repair, including parts. Not all shops will be upfront about their prices, so ask anyone available for this information. Also find out how you are to be billed. Some mechanics bill you for estimated labor times established by the manufacturers they work with. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
Look at flashing lights on your dashboard and learn what each one signifies. They are located there to assist you, so use them to your advantage. If you ignore them, you could end up with expensive problems down the road.
Make sure that you clean your car in the winter as well. Winter can ruin the quality of your car with constant precipitation. Sand and salt on the roads can cause rust and corrosion. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
You need to learn more about different car parts before taking your vehicle to a repair shop. Parts can be new, refurbished, or salvaged. New means that the parts were made to meet the standard manufacturer specifications by an independent retailer or the dealer themselves. Refurbished or rebuilt parts means that these parts have been restored. Salvage parts just means used parts without any type of alterations.
Bring your car to the auto repair shop immediately if you sense a problem, no matter how small. Small issues can often turn into larger ones.
Do not believe claims that any auto part will last for a lifetime. When mechanics use this claim, they are usually just trying to get you to spend more money unnecessarily. A common example is a car that has “lifetime” transmission fluid. While this won’t have to be changed often, you will still have to change the fluid every 80,000 miles.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is usually referred to using the acronym OEM. You need to know this when replacing parts. If you ask for OEM parts, it will look like you know what you’re talking about. This means you’re less likely to receive used parts.
A big part of good auto repair is consistency. Stick with a shop that has gained your trust instead of going around to various ones for work. The same mechanic will know your car inside and out and will be best qualified to work on it. They will provide different estimates, too.
Look to AAA for reliable auto repairs. Joining them can help you when you need a deal at a body shop or a tow truck. You’ll often find that AAA has great discounts that reduce any out of pocket costs.
Save money by learning how to refill your vehicle’s windshield wiper cleanser. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, consider learning how to change the oil. Do not assume you need to hire a mechanic to do this because you have no experience with maintaining your vehicle. Know what you are doing first, but then do not hesitate to get your hands greasy.
Ask for your old parts back when they’re replaced. If the mechanic says no, it’s possible that there was no replacement done. This is troublesome and you should tell him so.
Car trouble does not have to be as scary or time consuming as it was in the past, if you know how to fix basic things. You can solve car problems by yourself and save some serious money by not needing a mechanic. Keep this information close for the next time you have a car problem.