Never underestimate the value of keeping an emergency car kit handy. A battery charger, tire changing tools and an extra can of gas are just a few of the items to have on hand. Consider having blankets, batteries and a flashlight for unexpected nighttime break downs.
Be aware of all of the costs prior to handing your keys over to the mechanic. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. Don’t find yourself stuck with extra charges later.
Be sure to wash your car often so as to prevent rust. All cars will rust up eventually, but you may delay it considerably by ensuring all chemicals and salts are washed off quickly. A good wax is your best friend: a friend that will protect that shiny new paint job for a long time.
Ask for referrals to find a great mechanic. See if co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family members have any recommendations. You can find out about a mechanics quality of work, their price, and overall satisfaction. People will let you know if their experiences were good or bad and how honest the auto repair shop was with them.
Thoroughly review your car manual. If you have to get an auto repair, the mechanics will need to know specifics from the manual that are unique to your car. What you think may be an issue, may not be at all according to the manual.
Keep good records for your car’s history. The glove compartment is a good place to keep these records. The auto mechanic can look at the records. They will be able to find the problem easier and faster.
Watch out for mechanics who perform unnecessary repairs on your car. A reputable mechanic will let you know when they see something else wrong with your vehicle and they’ll give you options as to how to proceed. Don’t return to mechanics that do unnecessary repairs.
When taking your car to the auto shop, make sure you haven’t left any items in it. The technicians may have to move out these things to fix your car, and they cannot be held liable if anything goes missing. Remove all items from your trunk too.
Make sure your headlights are clean if they don’t look as bright. The lights can become coated with road grease and dirt, which will prevent the maximum amount of light from shining. Clean your car’s headlights and taillights with a glass cleaner.
Pay attention to your wiper blades. If your windshield wipers cause streaks or make noises, they may need replacing. You should replace them yearly, but you may need to do it twice a year if you are located in a rainy area.
Speak with friends about auto shop recommendations before you pick a shop. With the benefit of advice from acquaintances and family members, you’ll be better informed about the different options open to you. But make sure that you still do your research on anyone they mention. Read online reviews, and check with the Better Business Bureau as well.
If you’re short on cash, the repair department in vocational schools may offer you service at a fraction of the cost. You can save a lot of money by allowing students to make repairs to your car, but do not worry because these students will be supervised by a licensed mechanic.
Don’t believe a mechanic who tries to tell you that you need to get your engine flushed as a part of a routine maintenance. This service is very expensive and it isn’t necessary unless you have neglected engine care for some time.
Call the manufacturer for serious issues on a new vehicle. There may be something wrong with the car model that will necessitate a recall. In the case of a recall, most manufacturers will pick up the cost of fixing it.
A big part of good auto repair is consistency. Repair shops that can be trusted should be valued. If you go to several different shops, you are likely to get several different diagnosis. In addition, different shops may charge a different price for the same repair.
When you receive a list of the issues involved in your auto repair from your mechanic, ask for some time before deciding on having the work done. Call competitors and other mechanics to see how much you’d pay if you went to them instead. If you can get the work done cheaper, bring your car elsewhere. Just be sure to pay the mechanic for the labor involved in the diagnosis.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are speaking with a mechanic. In addition to asking about price, ask about everything regarding this repair. How long should it take to finish? What type of work is being performed? How much are the parts? Ask any other questions you have. It will demonstrate to the mechanic that you are savvy about your car, plus it will help you if the same problems happen again.
Sometimes you need to keep a car in storage for a significant amount of time. Put it on stands and fill the gas tank. Do not use the parking brake, and store only in a dry location so as to prevent rusting.
Vehicles today have sensors and warning lights to alert you to any problems. You should not rely only on your warning lights. A false warning can be caused by a defective sensor, so you need to do manual as well as computerized checks. This way you can be sure of an early warning to any problem.
Make sure you take your vehicle to a knowledgeable technician. In particular, he or she should know something about the make and model of your car. If they do not, then you should probably visit another mechanic.