Auto repair is a topic of vital importance to countless individuals, but also one about which large numbers of people have insufficient knowledge. In order to ensure proper auto repairs at all times, a bit of education is needed. Study the tips and advice below, and you will be ready for any situation that may arise.
Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. This will give you a good idea of what you will be paying.
When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
Every time your car is repaired, regardless of how minor the problem was, make sure you keep a record. If you have problems later, it may help the mechanic to see these notes. Not maintaining these records will likely mean you have to spend more money because diagnosing the problem will be harder for the mechanic to do.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
Before dropping your car off for repairs, remove any valuables. They will likely be taken out and may be lost. Empty the trunk too.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
You should not wait too long before changing the windshield wiper blades on your car. Failing to do this may cause them to work improperly the next time it is raining outside, which can lead to an accident. It is a good idea to change them every couple of years/
Don’t forget about your windshield wipers. If your windshield wipers cause streaks or make noises, they may need replacing. If you live somewhere that gets rain often, think about replacing your wiper blades yearly.
Don’t ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.
When it is time to bring your car in for work, think carefully about whether you want to go to the dealer or a local repairman. The dealer often knows the most about your particular type of vehicle, but they generally cost the most as a result. Weigh your options and go with what is right for you.
Look to the Better Business Bureau and local consumer advocate groups for more information on the auto repair shop you are considering. You’ll want to search everywhere for potential knowledge on this service center before you plop down the big bucks on a costly repair. Often these organizations will have a lot of great intelligence for you to consider.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don’t toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. Some shops strip vehicles and resell the newer parts. Should something bad happen, it is helpful to have images of what your car looks like.
Make sure that the auto repair shop you go to offers a warranty on their services. There are plenty of repair shops that will do a shoddy job, and there is nothing you can do about that if you have no warranty. A warranty will give you the opportunity to get the problem fixed for no charge.
When having repairs on your car, it is important to keep warranties in mind, especially when purchasing costly components. When the mechanic orders the parts, ask him about their warranty. Get a printed copy of the warranty and keep it in a binder with other important car paperwork.
You should get your tires aligned and inflated on a regular basis. You can easily check the pressure and inflate them but you will probably need a professional to align them for you. Keep your tires in good shape will make handling your care easier and can even improve your gas mileage.
The subject of auto repair is a mystery to many, despite the essential role reliable transportation plays in the lives of almost everyone. By understanding how to perform or secure quality auto repair work, it is important to have a solid understanding of some fundamental concepts. Keep the above information in mind, and you are sure to keep your car in good repair for years to come.