Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
Make sure you get quality parts to fix your car. You can usually get better prices if you get used parts from a junk yard but there is no way of knowing how long these parts will last. Do not hesitate to spend more on brand new parts that come with a guarantee.
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.
Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
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.
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.
Keep a record of any vehicle repairs. This will help the technician when you get future repairs on your car. Your car problems may be harder to find and you may have higher repair costs without the records.
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.
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.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
Make sure your auto technician is qualified to work on your specific car. Motor vehicles are complex machines and each brand has unique characteristics. Some brands require special tools, parts, and procedures. Many standard auto technicians either lack these items or don;t have them easily available. Without these items, they can’t fix your vehicle.
Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. Hiring a professional to install new lights costs a lot of money. Ask your friends and relatives if they can help with this small repair.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.