Owning a car is quite a freedom. It’s great to get behind the wheel of your car and be able to go anywhere at anytime. That said, your car can give up at any moment, too. These tips should help to prepare you for such a situation.
Check the radiator regularly. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Do not lift the radiator lid when the engine is running or if it is too hot. Check how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.
Wash your car regularly to prevent rust from becoming a problem. Your car will rust out but you can easily delay this process by washing off salt and chemicals. Wax your car often to protect the paint, as often as you can.
OEM parts should be asked for. These means they are parts that come directly from the manufacturer. Generic parts may cost less, but you cannot really tell if they are the best quality. It might be a great deal, but if you have to continue to replace the part, it is not going to be a good deal in the long run.
If you’re headlights are giving off dull light, they may just be dirty. Dirt and grease buildup can significantly dull your headlights. Wash them with glass cleaner and you should be able to see better.
Before having repairs, see if you can diagnose the problem. You can save time and money if the problem is correctly diagnosed, and finding a reliable mechanic will also be easier. As you have probably heard, there are mechanics out there that will be dishonest so they can charge you more money.
Your car should always have a spare tire and jack. Most new cars come with them. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
If you’re having serious repairs done on your vehicle, make sure to get multiple estimates. While most mechanics can be trusted, you might wind up being charged more than is necessary. Search for an auto repair shop that specializes in repairing the make of vehicle you have. These shops are more likely to understand how to perform the repairs your car needs.
You may be able to replace the lights on your car yourself. You can do this easily on some vehicles, and you’ll find it costs you less than having a company help you. If you are not confident, ask a friend or family member if they can help you.
Take a second to read the manual and learn about the different components within your vehicle before visiting a mechanic. Parts can be new, refurbished, or salvaged. Parts that are new are recently created to fit manufacturer specifications. Rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured are parts which are restored and in good working condition. Salvage parts are used.
Avoid diagnosing your own car problems. Remember, you are not an expert! Do not assume an issue can be fixed easily, unless you have previous experience with this type of issue. To be sure that the job is done right, have an auto repair shop diagnose the issue. Be knowledgeable about the details, but let the repair shop make the diagnosis.
Some shops steal your tires and use old tires to replace them! This is a quick way for them to make a profit and take advantage of you. Prior to going there, you should put chalk on the tires so they’re marked. If you don’t have the chalk on your tires still when you pick the car up, then you know things aren’t right.
Have you ever wondered what OEM means? These initials mean Original Equipment Manufacturer. When having replacement parts installed on your vehicle, you might want keep this information in mind. You’ll seem educated if you tell a mechanic you would like OEM parts. This will make it less likely that the mechanic will attempt to install parts that have been previously used.
Look to AAA for reliable auto repairs. They will send out a tow truck if you break down and can help you find a reputable mechanic. In fact, you’ll find that many times, AAA has set discounts to lower your out of pocket expenses.
When you get a diagnosis, take some time before you decide to get the repairs done. Contact other shops and ask them for an estimate on the repair needed. If you find someone that can repair your car for less, pay the first mechanic for the diagnosis only and have your car repaired elsewhere.
Save the receipts from all your car repairs in a single file. You may divide them by maintenance or repair type or use reverse chronology where most recent receipts are at the top. Either way, you will have a complete record of your car’s maintenance that will be helpful to your mechanic when more repairs are needed and helpful to you if you are dissatisfied with a repair. This will be very valuable to keep in mind.
If you get a quote from a mechanic that is over $200, ask for it in writing. A written contract between you and the mechanic regarding repairs is your best insurance if you happen to end up in court. They’ll be much less likely to tack on unnecessary repairs to a bill where they’ve already given you a written quote.
Just because you have a car that isn’t working, doesn’t mean it will cost you quite a bit of money to repair it. DIY fixes are often simple and cheap. Just make sure the tips that have been laid out here are followed if you want to get your automobile up and running once again.