Vehicle Repair Tips You Can Put Into Practice Today
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.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your car to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.
It is a good idea to use referrals to find a decent mechanic. Ask friends, family or co-workers for recommendations. They will be able to give you a heads up about satisfaction, quality and price. People will tell you about the mechanic’s honesty and if their experience was a good one.
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.
Take your vehicle to a full service car wash a couple times a year for an extensive cleaning, inside and out. This removes most of the soil and helps preserve the interior of your car. This can pay off when you want to sell or trade your car in for a newer one.
Make sure you know where your owner’s manual is and use it! If there is a problem with your car, you will be lost without it. Sometimes, an issue is simply a result of a lack of understanding. Pick it up, read through it, and see if you can figure out what is going on.
Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.
Keep a log that includes information on any maintenance that you have ever done on your car. To make things easy, put this log in your glove compartment box. If there is an issue with your car, this information can help the technician figure out what is going on much more quickly.
Never underestimate Walmart when it comes to having certain services done on your car. You can get an oil change there for quite a bit less than you will pay for one at an auto shop. They also sell tires that are priced much better than those at most tire shops.
When you purchase certain items at auto parts stores, they will install them for free. Keep this in mind when you go and pick them up. For example, a new set of windshield wipers is around five dollars. An auto parts store will usually install them for you for free, while an auto body shop will charge you around $50.
You don’t need a mechanic’s help to add oil to the car, or to add windshield wiper fluid. There is no need for an auto mechanic to do simple maintenance jobs. You should not hesitate to do some repairs yourself, as long as you have the proper skills and knowledge.
Be consistent with which shop you go to. You are much less likely to get scammed if you know the mechanic you are working with and have a history with him or her. Get small work done there, and then if you ever need to have expensive repairs, you will feel better about it.
All auto repair receipts you have should be kept and filed. Divide them chronologically or by repair completed. Whichever method you utilize, maintaining a record of the auto repairs you have will significantly help your mechanic whenever your vehicle needs more repairs. In addition, it will help you know if a certain repair did not live up to your expectations. This will be valuable to you.
Ask a mechanic lots of questions. Don’t just concern yourself with the price; rather, ask about everything that has to do with the repairs. Ask your mechanic how long the repair will take. What work is being performed? How much does each part cost? Ask whatever questions you have. This will let the mechanic know that you are well informed, and if the problem comes up at another time, you might be able to fix it.
Put your car on a jack when you are placing it in storage. Do not use the parking brake. Also, store the car somewhere that is dry to prevent rust.
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.