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.
Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.
Pay attention to the gauges and trouble lights on your cars dash. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a car that is overheating, low on oil or not charging the battery. Knowing which of these indicators need immediate attention can prevent damage to your car and save you cash in the long run.
Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.
Take off all of your keychain charms; just use your key. Ignitions are not meant to hold so much weight. If your key starts sticking, you need to change the tumblers and eliminate the troll buddy that’s weighing down your keychain!
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won’t be ripped off.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle when you bring it to be repaired. It is true that most shops have very trust worthy employees, but not all do, and you do not want to be a victim of theft. Instead, protect yourself by cleaning your vehicle and removing anything that is not attached to the car.
Ask auto body shops that you are considering if they offer a warranty on their repairs. Any reputable shop is more than happy to guarantee their work on new parts for at least a few months. If any one that you talk to does not you should certainly find a different shop.
Pay attention to your check engine light! If one of your warning lights is illuminated, take that as a warning! Don’t neglect it! The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to give you early notification of potential problems. By taking your car to an auto repair shop as soon as one of these lights is lit, you can nip the problem in the bud!
Store auto repair records in a file folder kept in the vehicle. With this type of file, you can seperate them chronologically, by type of maintenance and by repair, all in one place. However you organize, those receipts can help a mechanic understand the history of your car and help you find your documentation if a repair has gone wrong. This can come in handy later on.
When your car is being worked on, it may be a good idea to set a limit to how much work can be done before getting authorization from you. Never let the repairs go ahead without your approval. Tell them your maximum expenditure and ensure they’ll call you if they’re approaching it.
Before you have a mechanic work on your car, get a good estimate of what your bill will be. Understand how much the labor costs will be. This will avoid most surprises. If the repairs will cost significantly more than the estimate, have the mechanic call first to authorize the additional costs.
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.