Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Before you let the mechanic work on your car, make sure that you have all of the prices down. Ask about any additional fees that may come up during the repair and any charges that you may not be aware of. This will ensure that you are not surprised when the bill comes for your car repair.
If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your car to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
Keep a record of every car repair. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. Without these records, you may have to pay more money, and it may be harder to find where the problem is coming from.
If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.
Make sure you get a signed copy of the estimate for the repairs. You also need to make sure that the contract contains a clause that the shop must contact you before exceeding the total on the estimate. This will protect you from getting a surprise bill once work is completed.
Check and make sure that your mechanic is familiar with working on your type of car. While all cars have the same basic components, there are big differences as to how they are attached and located under the hood. The safe route is to pay a little more to have a dealer’s specialized techs work on the car.
Keep a spare tire and a jack with you all the time. Most of the new cars of today have them in the trunk. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. It is simpler and cheaper to handle it on your own.
Don’t get sucked into to the lure of aftermarket parts for new cars. You want your baby to run as well as possible for as long as possible, and that means spending the extra to get parts that match the ones already in your car. Trying to get that clunker to run just a few more miles? Save the money and take the aftermarket versions.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.