Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
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.
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. Should you need clarification about the repairs, speak with the service manager or your mechanic before work begins. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected charges after the repairs are done.
Checking and repairing the air conditioning in your car is quite complex. If you need to have it checked or fixed, find a mechanic with an air conditioning certification. The gas used for air conditioning is potentially dangerous and this system is a lot more complex than the other parts in your vehicle.
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.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don’t toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
Auto Repair Shop
Look for an auto repair shop that displays their certifications for everyone to see. Get a good look at it to make sure that they are current. Even if they are certified, that does not guarantee quality work, but there is a greater chance of the work getting done correctly.
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.
Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.
Look to the Better Business Bureau and local consumer advocate groups for more information on the auto repair shop you are considering. You’ll want to search everywhere for potential knowledge on this service center before you plop down the big bucks on a costly repair. Often these organizations will have a lot of great intelligence for you to consider.
Make sure that the auto repair shop you go to offers a warranty on their services. There are plenty of repair shops that will do a shoddy job, and there is nothing you can do about that if you have no warranty. A warranty will give you the opportunity to get the problem fixed for no charge.
If you take your car to an auto repair shop to get one thing fixed and they tell you that other repairs are needed, thank them for the information and decline the additional services. Go to several other places and get quotes before allowing them to do any more work on your car.
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.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.