Few things are as frustrating as having your car break down far away from home. Besides the immediate dangers of being stranded on the roadside, you are also facing the problem of hiring a mechanic in a hurry. How do you figure out who is right for the job? If not, these tips should help you handle car repair problems more competently in the future.
You do not have to contact a mechanic every time your car has problems. Some car repairs are easy to do yourself. Try troubleshooting the issue on the Internet or talk to your friends to see if they have an idea of what could be wrong with your vehicle. If it is a basic issue, attending to the repair yourself could save a considerable amount of money.
Familiarize yourself with your car’s manual. If you have to get an auto repair, the mechanics will need to know specifics from the manual that are unique to your car. Sometimes you may find things that you can easily fix yourself and do not require a trip to the dealership.
A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. Put these records in the glove compartment in your car for easy access. The mechanics who work on your car might need to go through these records. They can help them diagnose the issue a lot quicker.
It is very important to keep records of all your auto repairs. This will help the technician when you get future repairs on your car. No records means a blank slate to go on.
When taking your car to the auto shop, make sure you haven’t left any items in it. The mechanic might need to move these things so they can do the job, and they won’t assume responsibility if anything comes up missing. You should also remove all the items from your trunk.
If your headlights don’t seem very bright, check them to see if they are clean. Different substances from the road will accumulate on the glass of the headlights. This will block a portion of the light. Cleaning your lights with a glass cleaner will allow them to perform better.
Ask your mechanic if he’s worked on a vehicle similar to yours. Basic components are usually the same, but there are big differences in different types of cars. If you aren’t sure, take your car to get serviced at the dealer.
Keep a DIY tool kit in your trunk. Basic tools that should be included are tire changing tools. If you lack a lug wrench and a jack, purchase both. Basic tools such as screw drivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, torque wrench and other basic tools are also handy to have. Don’t buy poor-quality tools. Solid and sturdy tools are ideal so you don’t have to worry about them malfunctioning.
Replacing your own taillights and headlights is an easy way to save money. It’s easy in some vehicles, and it’s a lot cheaper than having someone else do it. Ask whether someone you know can show you how to fix it.
Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. Ask questions until you are sure you have clear answers. You will need to know what to expect on the final bill. Many car dealerships may charge by “book time” which is a set rate based on how long the repair should take to do. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.
Look at flashing lights on your dashboard and learn what each one signifies. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. If you ignore them, the problem will only become worse than it is now.
It can be very dangerous to fix your own car. Have someone assist you and make sure they are ready to react to emergencies. Put your money towards purchasing good tools that will last. You’ll especially need good equipment for changing tires. Remember that you need a jack that can hold the vehicle up especially when you need to get under it. This is why it is wise for you to use quality hydraulic floor jacks and jack stands.
You should not purchase a part from someone who claims the part will last you a lifetime. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money. For instance, certain cars have transmission fluid that is claimed to last a lifetime. While you don’t have to change this a lot, you need to be sure it’s changed about every 80,000 miles.
It’s hard to choose a good auto repair shop. However, when you have the right information, the process becomes easier. Know what to look for and what to ask. This article will help protect you in the future.