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.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
A good referral makes it much easier to locate a trustworthy mechanic. See if co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family members have any recommendations. You can inquire about price, work quality and overall satisfaction. Those close to you will be able to give you an honest retelling of their experiences with certain mechanics.
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.
Do not be afraid to ask a potential technician any questions you have. It is your vehicle that they will be working on and it is important that someone with the proper qualifications is handling it with care. In addition to asking about the problem with the vehicle, ask them any other questions you have about your car.
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.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
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.
You can fix small dents with a suction cup dent puller. This usually works for very small dents that can easily be covered with the suction cup. If the cup does not work, you will have to apply some filler into the dent, sand and paint until it becomes invisible.
Don’t be afraid of looking silly when you take your car into a shop. Ask plenty of questions. Make sure you know what is going on. You deserve to understand what is happening with your car, and a good technician will not mind your questions. The knowledge may come in handy in the future.
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.
Warranties are very important when you get your car fixed, especially if you invest in expensive parts. Talk to your repairman about the warranty parts come with. Ask about warranty length and and acquire a printed version for your reference.
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.