Your car is important to you, and you need to take care of it. Perhaps you’re not educated on cars, but would like to learn more. This article is the place to start.
It is important that you fully understand what all the charges will be upfront, before handing the mechanic your car keys. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
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.
Watch out for blatant signs that your mechanic is not to be trusted. If they beat around the bush and act shifty, they may not be the one you want to work with. It is good to feel like you trust your mechanic, so move on if you don’t feel like you can.
Avoid costly car repairs by sticking to the maintenance schedule of your car’s manufacturer. By doing regular maintenance on your car when necessary, you will avoid having to fix things due to maintenance neglect. Not sticking to the maintenance schedule will result in unnecessary repairs which could have been avoided.
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.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user’s manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don’t be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
If you have never done any auto repair on your own, you should stick with small jobs and do lots of homework to learn how to do larger jobs. Be certain not to start taking your car apart if you aren’t sure how to put it back together. Before starting any car repair job, be sure you have all the necessary parts and tools in place and that you know exactly what you need to do to complete the job from start to finish.
Go to a repair shop you are considering for the long haul with a smaller job first. It can be something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation. This will give you at least a better hint of their capabilities, workmanship and friendliness before a bigger issue occurs.
Don’t be afraid of looking silly when you take your car into a shop. Ask plenty of questions. Make sure you know what is going on. You deserve to understand what is happening with your car, and a good technician will not mind your questions. The knowledge may come in handy in the future.
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.
Car care is priority one. Simple maintenance can help you avoid the mechanic and save you money. Use these tips for the next time your vehicle starts acting weird or you start worrying about it.