Auto repair is a topic in which many people are not very knowledgeable. Therefore, they usually turn to professional auto repair shops and mechanics. Although these professionals can help fix any problems your car is having, they often come at a hefty price. Because of this, you need to know some basic advice on how to select the best shops and mechanics that will do the best job at the lowest cost. You also need to know how to resolve small issues yourself so that you do not spend your hard-earned money when it is not necessary. Thankfully, this article is here to help.
Know what the repair is going to cost you before handing over your keys. You want to make sure that you understand each and every charge, and if you do not then you need to clarify and ask questions before any work is done. You probably don’t want to incur extra charges after the car has been repaired.
Always ask lots of questions when you take your car to get repaired. Don’t let the mechanic intimidate you. Ask why something needs to be fixed or how it will be done. If the mechanic tries to brush you off, doesn’t look at you, or refuses to answer your questions, consider taking your car to someone else.
Be sure to wash your car often so as to prevent rust. All cars eventually get rusted, but the process can be delayed considerably by washing off any chemicals or salt immediately. Use a good wax to protect your paint job as much as possible.
When performing your own car repairs, make sure you budget enough time to get the job done. It’s easy to underestimate how long a repair job will take. You may encounter difficult to remove bolts or nuts, or find out a part is harder to remove than you anticipated. Giving yourself enough time to complete the repair safely will make the job much less stressful.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Although the dealer for your car’s make may provide the highest expertise when it comes to repair service, it may not always be the most cost effective choice. Many independent car repair shops have technicians that formerly worked at dealerships and are factory trained. You may be able to save a good amount by choosing an independent shop over the dealer, without a loss of quality.
If you have a maintenance log, devote yourself to keeping it up-to-date. If it isn’t, your car may undergo repairs that are not necessary and do nothing to help you. Further, this log is an indication to those working on your car that you expect the best for your vehicle.
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.
Try to find a shop that has gone out of their way to become certified by various agencies. These certifications tell you that they meet a high standard of excellence when it comes to repairing vehicles. Do remember, however, that this is not the only thing that you need to consider.
Find out about labor rates before you let a mechanic work on your car. You should have your mechanic diagnose the issues and assess how much work will be needed. Make sure you understand how the mechanic will bill you and have a manager give you an estimate of how much labor time is needed instead of trusting a technician who is not responsible for giving quotes.
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.
If you don’t think the mechanic fully understands the problem, ask them to take the car for a short drive. Often, they can better diagnose what is happening this way. Always go along for the drive as well, and make sure to point out anything that has been bothering you. If they refuse, the person is probably not the mechanic for you.
Sometimes the best choice is to use mechanics at a car dealer. The technicians at dealerships are trained to work on your particular model of car. They have the right tools to quickly diagnose your problem, and know how to troubleshoot the more common ones. It is also a requirement that they attend training programs on a regular basis.
Be faithful to your auto repair shop! When you find a good car repair service, you should take your car to that shop as exclusively as possible. In this way, the mechanics can become completely familiar with your car and will keep good records of services rendered. This will ultimately save you time and money. Additionally, when specialized services are needed, your auto repair shop will provide you with reliable referrals.
You should now be aware of basic tips on auto repair. You can now make smarter decisions on auto repair shops, and resolve any small issues on your own so that you can save your money. Utilize these tips, and you will be surprised at the results you will obtain.