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.
Before you let the mechanic work on your car, make sure that you have all of the prices down. Ask about any additional fees that may come up during the repair and any charges that you may not be aware of. This will ensure that you are not surprised when the bill comes for your car repair.
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.
Keep your car’s owner manual handy. Knowing vital car information can really help when something unexpected occurs. If you know your car’s controls, you may even avoid a trip to a mechanic. If you do need a mechanic, you should have the make, model, and trim level available so that they can figure out things like your transmission configuration, size, etc. much quicker.
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.
Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.
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.
If your car needs body work, make sure you know what color paint you have on your vehicle. This information is important for the technician that works on your car. Also, your vehicle identification number is always something good to have on hand. In many cases, you will have to have it just to set up an appointment.
Whenever you are working on your car’s electrical system, you should make certain the battery is disconnected. Failing to do so could cause you to receive an electrical shock. If you aren’t certain whether or not the area you intend to work on has electrical components, play it save and disconnect your battery.
Lots of people who take their cars to get repaired end up paying for much more work than initially believed. This helps them give you the impression that you are getting a great deal. Tell them you have to think about it before accepting the deal.
Make sure your car is ready for winter. The cold can be very hard on the vehicle’s system so you should properly maintain it. Some things you should do are check the tires, check the antifreeze, replace old wipers, and inspect windshield washer fluid. Driving is hard enough in the winter, so make things easier by making sure your vehicle can handle the harsher weather conditions.
When it comes to the brakes on your car,the last thing you want to do is to let it go. Pay attention immediately to any unusual noise or change in pressure when you apply the brakes. The sooner you deal with the issue, the less severe it will be, saving you money as well alleviating safety concerns.
Talk it out with the service technician. He or she may know what they are doing, but they may fail to adequately communicate with you about what is going on. Therefore, don’t be afraid to question what they are telling you so that you are both on the same page. Communicate your needs clearly so they know what you expect as well.
If your key “sticks” when you put it in the ignition, you will most likely need a new ignition switch as soon as possible. Having your key stick usually indicates that the switch is failing. If that switch is not fixed in a timely fashion, you could get stranded somewhere.
Pay attention to your check engine light! If one of your warning lights is illuminated, take that as a warning! Don’t neglect it! The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to give you early notification of potential problems. By taking your car to an auto repair shop as soon as one of these lights is lit, you can nip the problem in the bud!
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.