Auto repair may seem very complicated, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Luckily, you can get some basic tips from this article that can help you get started. Reading this article is a start to auto repair wisdom, which will help to save money.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
Take advantage of free inspections, but don’t just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren’t strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable auto mechanic. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask your family and friends for their recommendations. You can learn a lot about the overall quality of a person’s work, the price, and the level of customer satisfaction. People can tell you what type of experience they had and whether the mechanic was honest or not.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
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.
Take all valuable items out of your vehicle before taking it in for repairs. Your personal items can get in the mechanics way, and they may have to move them. You want to remove items from your trunk also.
Follow your car’s tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.
Keep a basic repair kit in your car trunk at all times. A simple kit consisting of wrenches, jumper cables, screws, and a jack can be a lifesaver if your car breaks down on the road. This will allow you to make small repairs on the spot, saving you the cost of an expensive tow truck.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
A little knowledge about older vehicles and common issues could have you forewarned about potential problems. And this could lessen the number of times you need to visit a mechanic. Learning this and the other tips here will help you get familiar with basic auto repair. Whenever you experience car problems, keep these tips in mind.