If you’re an adult in this country, chances are you own or finance a vehicle of some kind. And if you’ve got an automobile, you are going to need repairs sooner or later. Here are some tips that will help you, whether you choose to attempt repairs yourself, or get them done by a service.
See if the prospective mechanic has experience with your type of car. If they have, you should feel better about their ability to solve your problem.
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.
Always ask about the certification and the insurance of a mechanic before letting them fix your car. If something goes wrong, the mechanic’s insurance will cover damages and usually provides you with a car you can drive until yours is fixed. A mechanic who is not certified does not have an insurance either.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
If you’re performing your own repairs underneath a car and have it raised in the air, ensure that the lifting device you use is secure. Never lift a car that is not on level ground or on a firm surface. Always use jackstands in the proper position and never solely rely on a jack to keep a car raised off the ground.
Attempt to self-diagnose ahead of going to a garage. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesn’t need. An unscrupulous mechanic may exaggerate the problem or diagnose nonexistent ones to charge you more.
If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.
Unless it is required by your car’s warranty, don’t feel obligated to use the repair shop at the dealership. There are many reputable independent auto repair shops and they are often cheaper. Ask your friends and family members for a recommendation if you are unsure which shops in your area are trustworthy.
You should always pay attention to the way your car smells. An unpleasant smell is usually caused by a leak or an electrical short. It is best not to drive your car and find a mechanic who can come inspect it to determine what is causing the strong smell.
Avoid being run over by your own car! When you jack your car up, be sure to set your emergency brake. Place bricks behind the tires you are not working on to keep your car from rolling. Keep a set of wedges or three or four bricks in the trunk of your car in case you have to change a flat tire on a hill.
Be sure to verify that the shop that you is properly licensed. If they are not, there is probably a reason for it, which could range from fraud to faulty repairs. Never use a shop that does not hold all of the licenses that they should in order to operate as a business.
OEM is the Manufacturer’s Original Equipment. Keep this in mind when you are having parts replaced on your vehicle. Telling the mechanic you wish to have OEM parts will help you appear knowledgeable. This will lower the chances of someone putting used auto parts on your car.
There are some shady mechanics out there, and they will resort to extreme lows to get your money. If a mechanic tells you that your axle boot is torn, ask to see it. A legitimate tear will be jagged and greasy. If it is a straight cut, let them know that you know they did the damage and you will contact a lawyer if they don’t fix it for free.
Now that you’ve read this article, you should have an idea of what to keep in mind when you need auto repairs. Getting your vehicle fixed can help you to have a sense of confidence on the road, so make sure you keep your auto running well by using the tips here. That way, you can keep your car as long as you need it.