If you’re an adult in this country, chances are you own or finance a vehicle of some kind. And if you’ve got an automobile, you are going to need repairs sooner or later. Here are some tips that will help you, whether you choose to attempt repairs yourself, or get them done by a service.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don’t want to have to pay extra later to fix those “repairs”.
When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
Keep your car’s owner manual handy. Knowing vital car information can really help when something unexpected occurs. If you know your car’s controls, you may even avoid a trip to a mechanic. If you do need a mechanic, you should have the make, model, and trim level available so that they can figure out things like your transmission configuration, size, etc. much quicker.
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.
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.
Figure out what repairs and labor are going to cost you before handing your keys over. Some shops have these costs in conspicuous places, so you need to carefully read and ask any questions you have if something doesn’t make sense. How will you be billed? Some shops provide repair time estimates established by manufacturers. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
Keep in mind that you don’t need the dealer for auto repairs. You can find a good technician anywhere by following good guidelines. If you feel comfortable with someone, use them.
Consider investing in a service contract. Getting a service contract is similar to insuring your vehicle; you will pay a monthly fee to keep your contract valid and the company that issues the contract will cover needed repairs. Choose your contract carefully and find a contract that covers things you will actually need.
Avoid being run over by your own car! When you jack your car up, be sure to set your emergency brake. Place bricks behind the tires you are not working on to keep your car from rolling. Keep a set of wedges or three or four bricks in the trunk of your car in case you have to change a flat tire on a hill.
Listen to your gut. If you bring your car into the shop and the technician doesn’t seem to be on the up and up, consider going somewhere else. At the very least, the person probably doesn’t care that much about you and your car, and you deserve better service than that.
Without knowing where your car problems lie, repairing your car is impossible. Therefore, you must be able to recognize problems when they arise. For example, if your car belt has cracks in the perpendicular edge, or pieces fall out, you need to replace it immediately. Failing to recognize problems on time can lead to permanent damage to your car; therefore, recognize and resolve these problems as soon as you can.
Now that you’ve read this article, you should have an idea of what to keep in mind when you need auto repairs. Getting your vehicle fixed can help you to have a sense of confidence on the road, so make sure you keep your auto running well by using the tips here. That way, you can keep your car as long as you need it.