Car ownership gives you an incredible sense of freedom. You may go anywhere you desire and do what you want, when you want. That said, your car can give up at any moment, too. The advice included here will help you handle that situation if it arises.
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.
Ask your friends and family for advice on a trust worthy auto body shop. It can be very hard to find a shop that will not rip you off or produce poor quality work. Asking for advice can save you from a lot of wasted money and time trying to do it on your own.
When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job.
Independent garages and mechanics are usually much cheaper than dealerships. You might get a discount at your dealership if you purchased your car recently but do not make a habit of going to your dealership if you find their prices too expensive. Find out about local independent garages with a good reputation instead.
Do not let mechanics do repairs that are not warranted on your car. Mechanics may make recommendations, but they should never make repairs without your authorization. Don’t go back to mechanics who made unneeded repairs.
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.
See if you can find someone who is knowledgeable about cars to do the work for you. If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, and they will usually charge you less for labor. This savings in labor costs can add up to hundreds. It also supports a small independent business.
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.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle when you bring it to be repaired. It is true that most shops have very trust worthy employees, but not all do, and you do not want to be a victim of theft. Instead, protect yourself by cleaning your vehicle and removing anything that is not attached to the car.
Pay attention to any fluids that pool under you car when parked. Small spots may not mean very much, but take note of what the fluid is. Plain water is usually just condensation that builds up on a car naturally. But bright green or orange fluid is the cooling system. Oily fluids are those like engine oil, or transmission fluid. These are warning signs.
Prior to leaving your car for a diagnosis, ask the repair shop about any fees associated with it. The auto repair shop absolutely has the right to charge a diagnosis fee, in fact it’s pretty standard. Though, if it seems out of line with other prices in your area, you may want to go to another shop.
Be sure to keep the area where you are working on your car free of hazards. Keep your tools and spare parts picked up so that you and others will not trip over them. Be sure to work in an area with good ventilation so that you won’t be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping.
Be wary of auto repair shops that try to pressure you into getting repairs done. You may go into a shop for one thing, and the mechanic will tell you that you have other problems. It’s fine if a mechanic informs you of any possible work that may need to be done, but when they try to turn it into a requirement, rather than an option, it’s time to find a new mechanic.
If you need to find a good mechanic, ask them how much experience they have with the brand and make of your vehicle. Driving a popular and affordable vehicle will make your job easier. It might be best to find a dealership if you do not drive a popular brand.
Make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold can be very hard on the vehicle’s system so you should properly maintain it. Some things you should do are check the tires, check the antifreeze, replace old wipers, and inspect windshield washer fluid. Driving is hard enough in the winter, so make things easier by making sure your vehicle can handle the harsher weather conditions.
Fixing your car doesn’t have to be a costly venture. Quite often you can repair your car yourself. Use these tips to get your automobile back on the road.