Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
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.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
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.
When searching for an auto repair shop, you should choose one that specializes in the brand of vehicle you have. While there are probably many trustworthy shops in your area, going with one specializing in your car makes it more likely that the technician knows what they are doing. They will also probably have many parts needed for your car.
Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.
You should not choose a repair shop or a mechanic right away if you are rushed. If your car needs some repairs right away, find a friend or family member who can lend you their vehicle or give you rides until you find a reliable garage or dealership to repair your vehicle.
If you need to get your vehicle fixed, choose a garage or a dealership that hires certified technicians. The person who runs the place might have a certification but this does not mean that certified people will work on your car. Choosing certified technicians is a good way of making sure qualified people are fixing your car.
If you have to drop your car off at a garage or dealership, instruct the mechanics that you wish to be called with an estimate before they do any work on your car. Do not let a mechanic convince you to pay for expensive repairs because the vehicle is already partly dismantled.
When looking for a repair shop or a garage, pay attention to the documents on the walls. Certified mechanics usually have the original copy of their certification framed on the wall. You should look for certifications issued by your state or by the ASE as well as proofs of insurance.
If you start to experience trouble on the road when you are far from home, always check for recommendations and reviews of mechanics in the vicinity before just turning over your keys to the first garage you come upon. Remember that these people will know you are in a precarious position and may try to take advantage of you.
Do you want to take your vehicle to a dealership or an independent mechanic? Though dealerships may be pricier, the technicians there are probably more educated on the kind of car you have. Usually independent garages are cheaper, but the workers may not be as honest.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.