Vehicle Repair Tips You Should Know
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.
Do you have a hard time starting your car? Your battery probably needs to be recharged or replaced. You need to check the state of charge of your battery. You can use a hydrometer or a voltmeter depending on the type of battery you have. If you have been regularly recharging your battery, it might be time for a new one.
Before you hand over your car to the shop, be sure you are clear about the repair costs. Have your mechanic or service adviser clarify all the details before agreeing to getting your vehicle fixed. You don't want to be surprised by unexpected charges.
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.
Get referrals to find a great auto mechanic. Talk to your friends and family and ask if they have any recommendations. You can find out great information about price and value that way. They will be the first to tell you about a dishonest mechanic too!
Preventative maintenance is very important if you own a car. Do not hesitate to spend money on the tools you need to inspect and maintain your car or having a mechanic look at your car regularly. Maintaining your car regularly could help you save a lot on repairs or towing if your car breaks down.
When bringing your car to a mechanic, tell them you want OEM parts. These are original manufacturer parts. While generics are much cheaper, they are not held to the same quality standards. Getting a good deal on generic parts means you might have to purchase the same parts again and pay a mechanic to change them within the next few years.
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.
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.
Talk to your friends about their auto repair experiences before choosing a repair shop. You may get some great recommendations from friends and family. Still do your homework on whoever they mention. At the minimum, take a look online to see what others are saying about the shop as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.