Auto repair is a tough nut to crack. Don’t become derailed and learn all that you can from the tips below. You may be surprised by how much you learn.
Don’t take an emergency car kit for granted. Include a spare tire, a jack, a battery charger and a container full of gas. Also, add a flashlight, some batteries, and some blankets in case there is a nighttime breakdown.
Be open to asking any questions that cross your mind. Auto repair is a very complex thing. You will have questions, and don’t feel intimidated about asking them. If you don’t, you may not completely understand why the repairs were needed in the first place or how costly the current situation really is.
Keep accurate records on what work has been done on your car and when. Many repair shops will keep this information for you, but that only works if you see them for everything for major breakdowns to oil changes. This can help in diagnosing problems, as you can show what fixes have already been attempted.
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. It will help you find the best price available from a trustworthy mechanic. Look around for reputable shops that specialize in your car’s make. These types of shops will give you the best bang for your buck.
Know the basics. If you have to take your car into the shop, be prepared to let them know what the make and model of your car is. Also, the actual trim level is important as it will give the technician more information about the engine, transmission and anything else that may be important.
Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are many shops where skilled auto technicians reside. Find someone who you are comfortable with and stick with them.
It can’t be stressed enough, but you must keep up with your car’s routine maintenance. That means changing the oil when scheduled, checking fluids like coolant, and checking the braking system. This can keep repair bills down. In addition, not following the regular maintenance on a car can void the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you are planning a DIY auto repair, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete it. Start early in the day with all of the tools, parts and fluids that you will need close at hand. Remember that, no matter how well you plan, something unexpected will come up and consume your time. Avoid running out of daylight by getting an early start that will allow you to cope with the unexpected.
You need to keep track of all the repairs and transactions with your garage or dealership. If you decide to file a complaint, you will need to document what happened. Keeping these documents will also help you inform buyers about the repairs you did on the vehicle if you want to sell your car.
If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.
Be sure to keep the area where you are working on your car free of hazards. Keep your tools and spare parts picked up so that you and others will not trip over them. Be sure to work in an area with good ventilation so that you won’t be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
Use the tips above when you next have a problem with your car. Don’t allow a lack of information to cause you to go broke. Take control of auto repairs, be aware of your choices and come out a winner.