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.
Save fuel by driving as if you have a glass of water sitting on your dashboard. This practice helps you avoid jack rabbit starts and quick stops. Each time you accelerate quickly, the engine of your car uses more fuel than it would if you were to accelerate at a gradual increase in speed.
Check your coolant levels frequently. Allow your car to run for a bit and then turn it off and pop open the hood. Don’t open your radiator if your car is running. 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.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible. Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.
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.
Get OEM components. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. It may be cheaper to take generic parts, but there’s no knowing the true quality of those parts over the many years to come. It can appear like a deal right now and cost twice the amount later as OEM components to begin with.
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.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
Learn how to perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. It is very easy to do a tune up or change your oil so there really is no reason to bring your car to an auto repair shop to have these things done. Instead, just watch tutorials online to learn what you need to do it on your own.
Replacing a charcoal canister is very expensive, but you can easily replace this part yourself. Take off the wheel located under your fuel tank and disconnect the vacuum lines connected to the old canister. The part should then come right off. Install the new one and connect the lines very carefully before installing the wheel again.
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.
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.