Vehicle On The Fritz? These Auto Repair Tips Can Help!
Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. This certification lets you know that your mechanic has at least 2 years of experience and has passed a test. This means a top professional is doing your repairs.
Read your owner’s manual thoroughly if you want to save money on auto repair. In this manual, you can find a lot of tips and tricks that can get your car back into gear and save you a trip to the mechanic. Fixing issues on your own can help you in both a practical and monetary sense.
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.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
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.
If you have something major that needs to be done by someone at a shop, you have to be sure you get more than just a single price. Although shops are generally trustworthy, you may end up paying for extra repairs you don’t need. Look for mechanics that know the ins and outs of your car. Your car is more likely to be repaired properly at these shops.
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.
If you have a maintenance log, devote yourself to keeping it up-to-date. If it isn’t, your car may undergo repairs that are not necessary and do nothing to help you. Further, this log is an indication to those working on your car that you expect the best for your vehicle.
Consider taking pictures of all areas of your vehicle before you bring it in to be repaired at an auto body shop. This will give you proof, if your vehicle happens to become damaged while in their care. Should something bad happen, it is helpful to have images of what your car looks like.
Pay attention to any fluids that pool under you car when parked. Small spots may not mean very much, but take note of what the fluid is. Plain water is usually just condensation that builds up on a car naturally. But bright green or orange fluid is the cooling system. Oily fluids are those like engine oil, or transmission fluid. These are warning signs.
Don’t postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car’s individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.
Always ask in advance how much labor costs at that particular shop. In fact, do not give them your keys until you have a clear understanding of what you will be charged. Many times, this information is not posted in an obvious place, so it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
Do not worry if you find a puddle of water under your car. Puddles are usually caused by condensation from your air conditioning system. You should worry if you have not been using your air conditioning system or if you find puddles of water under your car on a regular basis.
Avoid being run over by your own car! When you jack your car up, be sure to set your emergency brake. Place bricks behind the tires you are not working on to keep your car from rolling. Keep a set of wedges or three or four bricks in the trunk of your car in case you have to change a flat tire on a hill.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.