Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.
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.
When taking your car to the mechanic’s, you should not leave before having a complete diagnosis of what needs to be fixed. If the mechanic refuses to look at the car right away or does not want to give you a quote for the issues he diagnosed, find someone else.
Look for an auto repair shop that displays their certifications for everyone to see. Get a good look at it to make sure that they are current. Even if they are certified, that does not guarantee quality work, but there is a greater chance of the work getting done correctly.
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.
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.
Remember that DIY auto repair may be quite dangerous. Be sure someone is watching you repair the vehicle just in case something bad happens. Get high-quality tools that will not break while you’re working. You will need these in case you ever have a flat tire. Keep in mind that the jack you use needs to safely hold the car up, especially when you go under the car. This is the reason why you should use a reliable hydraulic floor jack equipped with the right jack stands.
Remember that where you live can have an impact on when you need to take your vehicle in for service. For example, if you only travel a short distance to work, your exhaust system may have issues as a result. If you live somewhere very hot, in contrast, you may need to look closely at your engine oil. A “one size fits all” service schedule doesn’t work for everyone.
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.
Always inquire about the qualifications and experience of the technician who will be repairing your car. You want to know if they have experience working on your make and model of car. You also want to know if your mechanic has any special qualifications, like A.S.E. certification, that demonstrate their competence.
If you discover a serious problem on your new car, be sure to contact the manufacturer. There may be something wrong with the car model that will necessitate a recall. With a new car, the problem will generally be covered by the warranty, and the dealer will fix it.
Before you have a mechanic work on your car, get a good estimate of what your bill will be. Understand how much the labor costs will be. This will avoid most surprises. If the repairs will cost significantly more than the estimate, have the mechanic call first to authorize the additional costs.
Request that the shop doing your auto repairs only use original equipment manufacturer, or O.E.M., parts. The additional cost compared to generic components is worth the investment in the long run. You can expect optimal performance and increased vehicle longevity when you choose parts specifically made for your car rather than generic.
Do not place water inside of your car’s windshield cleaning compartment. The washer system works with a certain type of fluid, and water can easily damage the washer. Refill your cars windshield washer container on a regular basis. Don’t wait for the compartment to empty before refilling.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.