Confused About Auto Repair? These Tips Can Help!


There is no definitive guide for all auto repairs. Instead, it is necessary to learn how to care for your expensive investment. Repairs to your car can make you nervous. However, the following tips will keep you on track.

Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If you aren’t sure about anything, ask for clarification. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.

Check out your mechanic to see if he is A.S.E. certified before allowing him to do any work on your vehicle. This certification means that the technician has passed a written test and has over 2 years of experience under his or her belt. When a mechanic has this certification, you are ensured that a qualified individual is repairing your car.

Note! Monitor your radiator. Run your car, turn it off then pop the hood.

Whenever your car undergoes repairs, make sure you have the written record of what was done. Should your vehicle encounter other problems down the line, it will helpful for the auto technician to see past records. If you lack such records, you may end up paying more money for diagnostic work.

Assemble repair tools and keep them in your car, so you are prepared at all times. The tools you need include tire changing equipment, which usually come with a car. Make sure you have a wrench that can loosen the lug nuts on your tires. Also, you need Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, a ratchet set, and various types of wrenches. Avoid cheap tools. Get high quality tools that will be able to withstand the test of time.

Pay attention to all of the lights that flash in the dashboard, and make sure that you understand what each of them mean. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. If you ignore them, the problem can get worse.

Before allowing an auto shop to do repairs to your vehicle, ensure you are aware of the total cost. If you don’t understand something, talk to the mechanic first. You don’t want to get the car back, only to be shocked at how much the repairs cost you.

Note! Ask the tech if they’ve done work on your model and make of car before. If they say that they have, this should be a good indicator that they have some idea of what needs to be done to get your car back into shape.

It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. Although you may feel like the car just gets dirty again right after cleaning it, the winter weather is harsh on your vehicle. Salt and sand from frozen streets can cause rust spots and other flaws. Take care to dry your vehicle before driving it again. You wouldn’t want ice to form.

It can be very dangerous to fix your own car. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Buy some good quality tools that will last. Nowhere is this more applicable than with the items you use to change a tire. Do not forget that you are relying on your jack to support your car while you work beneath it. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes.

Verify your mechanic’s certifications. You should be sure they have been approved by the ASE. It says the mechanic knows his stuff.

Check and make sure that your mechanic is familiar with working on your type of car. Though some basic components are similar, the way different models utilize space varies. It may be worth the extra cost to have a specialized dealer fix a major problem with your car.

Note! Is a work-at-home mechanic a viable option? If they have auto repair experience they can provide quality work, and they will usually charge you less for labor. This is a good way of saving money while investing in your local community.

Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. They do this to gain money from your lack of knowledge. Prior to going there, you should put chalk on the tires so they’re marked. If the chalk is not present when you go pick up the car, you have definitely been had.

Test Drive

Once you have worked on the brakes, you should bleed them before you go out on a test drive. After the bleeding process, make sure the brake fluid is pumped. Check for leaks. You are then ready to test drive your car on roads that don’t have a lot of traffic. Be slow when you start so you’re sure of whether or not the repair worked.

Take off your keychains from your car keys to reduce the weight on your ignition. The weight of your keychain can cause problems for your ignition. If you have a key that’s sticking, then you are going to have to replace your tumblers and then get rid of your fun keychains.

Note! Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. A lot of places will put rates in the fine print and so you need to read over any paperwork carefully.

If you want to be sure that someone is there for you if you need repairs, AAA may be able to help. Joining them can help you when you need a deal at a body shop or a tow truck. In many cases, you’ll even find that AAA membership reduces your overall auto repair expenses thanks to member discounts.

After paying to replace old parts, make sure the mechanic gives you the old ones that were removed. When the mechanic says no, it’s likely that he never actually replaced the part. Ask your mechanic for an explanation if you notice this red flag.

Have a plastic accordion file to put all auto repair receipts inside. Sort your receipts by type or date. This ensures you have the information for your mechanic, insurance or a buyer, if necessary. This will be valuable to you.

In the winter, you still need to wash your car. Winter can be the most damage causing time of the year for your car. In particular, it can cause the car to rust. Prevent ice from forming on your car: dry it thoroughly after washing.

Note! Check to see that your mechanic has the necessary certifications handy. Look for the NIAE seal of approval.

Establish a set amount that you are willing and able to pay for repairs. Anything above that amount should require your explicit approval. Whenever you visit a shop, you should never allow the mechanics to perform very costly repairs on their own. Again, set the dollar amount yourself.

Never allow your car to be worked on without a written estimate. If they don’t do the work properly, you’ll struggle to recover damages and you will lack proof of whatever work they were contracted to do.

Exhaust System

Don’t let anyone tell you that getting an engine flushed is something that normally needs to be done during maintenance. This service is very costly. It is not a necessary service unless you have been hard on your engine. If you do not get oil changes on a regular basis, you should have this service.

Note! Do not allow anyone to sell you any auto parts that they claim will last a lifetime. Often, this is how businesses try to reel you in.

When having their car repaired, some people ask for the worn or broken parts to be returned to them when the work is finished. This is one way to ensure that the repairs have been done. This isn’t particularly necessary for exhaust system replacement. It is easy to ascertain that your exhaust system has been replaced.

Wouldn’t you like to have better and more reliable auto repair experiences? Getting a vehicle repaired is rarely an exciting thing, but it can be easier on you if you put the previous information into practice. Use the advice you’ve learned so that you have command of your auto repair needs.

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