When your car breaks down, your first priority should be to get it up and running again. You can’t get to where you need to go is you car is not running properly. However, you don’t have to break the bank in order to repair your car. Many simple repairs and maintenance procedures can be done by you.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
Understand the repair costs prior to leaving your car with any shop. Labor costs especially can run at different levels from shop to shop, especially if a specialist is involved. You’ll want to know what you are getting into prior to learning about it the hard way days later.
Be open to asking any questions that cross your mind. Auto repair is a very complex thing. You will have questions, and don’t feel intimidated about asking them. If you don’t, you may not completely understand why the repairs were needed in the first place or how costly the current situation really is.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
It is a good idea to add an injector cleaner to the fuel you put into your gas tank regularly. You will get better gas mileage if the fuel injectors in your cars engine are kept clean. Adding enough cleaner to treat a full tank once a month is usually enough to improve your mileage a little.
To make certain you are turning your vehicle over to a trustworthy repair shop, take the time to read online reviews of mechanics in your local area. By doing a bit of research on your own and soliciting the opinions of people you trust, you stand a better chance of finding a skilled professional to fix your car. Otherwise, you may end up making a decision you ultimately regret.
Ask your auto mechanic about their A.S.E. certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a test twice a year for it. To earn this certification, mechanics must pass a written test while also having about two years of work experience in auto mechanics and repair. This certification increases your chances of finding competent mechanics.
There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.
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.
Keep your auto repair shops business card in your car at all times. You never know when something could go wrong with your vehicle. You’ll want your favorite auto shop’s phone number handy, though, when it does. Another option is to program all of their contact information in your phone.
You do not have to always take your vehicle to an expensive repair shop to get it running again. Sometimes, you can fix your car yourself. Make the most of this information so that you are not off the road for long.