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.
Bring a battery charger with you in your trunk. This will be very useful in case your battery dies or if you run into someone who needs help with their battery. Take a few minutes to learn how to use it properly before you get in a situation where you need to use it.
Referrals can be helpful for finding an auto mechanic. Ask the people you know for their recommendations. Ask about how much they paid, the quality of the repairs and the customer service. You can use their experiences to determine whether a mechanic is honest or not.
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.
Before you pay for repairs, take the car out for a spin to make sure things are working as they should. Many people don’t take this crucial step and wind up plagued by the same issue that brought them to the shop in the first place.
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.
It is a good idea to add an injector cleaner to the fuel you put into your gas tank regularly. You will get better gas mileage if the fuel injectors in your cars engine are kept clean. Adding enough cleaner to treat a full tank once a month is usually enough to improve your mileage a little.
Don’t get sucked into to the lure of aftermarket parts for new cars. You want your baby to run as well as possible for as long as possible, and that means spending the extra to get parts that match the ones already in your car. Trying to get that clunker to run just a few more miles? Save the money and take the aftermarket versions.
Keep a basic repair kit in your car trunk at all times. A simple kit consisting of wrenches, jumper cables, screws, and a jack can be a lifesaver if your car breaks down on the road. This will allow you to make small repairs on the spot, saving you the cost of an expensive tow truck.
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.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
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.