Tips That Will Help You Become Your Own Mechanic


If you are reading this article, you are probably experiencing car problems. Luckily, this piece is meant to help. Most people aren’t car people, so it is important that they know what to do in the event of a car problem. Keep reading for some useful tips on how to keep your vehicle in good shape.

Consider keeping a high quality battery charger in your car. Dead batteries are a common occurrence and you’d be able to aid other drivers who have broken down. Familiarize yourself with how the charger hooks up to your battery.

An emergency kit is a must for your car. It should have tire changing tools, a battery charger and tools to top up your gas tank. In the event that your car were to break down in the middle of the night on a deserted road, bring blankets, batteries, and a flashlight.

Ensure you regularly inspect your radiator. Run your engine for several minutes, and then turn it off and pop your hood. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Check the radiator fluids using a dipstick and remember to always mix the coolant with water before putting it in the radiator.

Ask your mechanic to use OEM parts. OEM parts means that part was produced by the manufacturer specifically for your make and model of vehicle. Generic parts can be cheaper but OEM parts will last longer and usually come with a better warranty. They may initially be a deal, but the generic parts may make you pay more in the long run.

When taking your car to the auto shop, make sure you haven’t left any items in it. These items may need to be removed anyway, and they aren’t responsible for lost or missing items. You should also remove all the items from your trunk.

Prior to bringing your car to a shop for a repairs, try to find out what the issue is. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesn’t need. It’s an unfortunate fact that there are dishonest mechanics who will tell you your car has issues when it doesn’t.

Major repairs should always be accompanied by more than just one estimate. Most shops are honest, but some are not. Find a shop that has a reputation for deal with your make of car. You’ll get a better repair on your car because these shops will know exactly what your car needs.

Wiper Blades

Do not forget about your windshield wiper blades. If your windshield wipers are no longer keeping the rain off your windshield, or if they make noise or leave streaks, it is time to replace them. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.

Bring your car to the auto repair shop immediately if you sense a problem, no matter how small. Often times, ignoring small issues lead directly to more serious ones.

If you need to have your car fixed, but you don’t have a lot of cash on hand, think about asking a local vocational school if they have an auto repair class. You can pay much less for service since students are still learning how to repair cars.

Don’t let a mechanic tell you that flushing your engine is routine maintenance. It is quite expensive and usually only necessary for engines in very bad shape. There is a good chance they are just trying to “pad” your bill, unless your engine is in real trouble.

Simple things, like adding windshield wiping fluid or oil, is something that you can do yourself. It is a common misnomer that you need a mechanic’s services to attend to these items for you. You should learn how to do the work, then roll up your sleeves and get dirty.

Keep track of all your vehicle repair and maintenance receipts in an accordion folder in your car. You can sort them chronologically or by service repair type. You need a record of the car’s maintenance so you can give it to mechanics later. It only takes a few minutes to do, and the record can be a valuable tool.

Always listen to the sounds that your vehicle is making. Noises really detail what problems may lie within. If possible, describe the sounds you noticed to your mechanic so they can quickly diagnose the issue.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are speaking with a mechanic. In addition to asking about the price, tell them you want repair details. How long will the job take? What’s being worked on? How much are the parts going to set you back? Ask them anything and everything that you can think of. This will not only show the mechanic that you are well informed, it will also help should the same issue pop up again.

Put your car on a jack when you are placing it in storage. Take off the parking brake and only store it in a dry location.

Exhaust System

If you’re getting someone to repair your vehicle, see if they’re able to return your old parts. This will ensure that they did the work for you. Some parts, such as an exhaust system, it can easily be seen that the new part was installed. It’s simple to tell if they have installed the exhaust system.

When you’re having serious auto work done and get a quote from a particular mechanic, ask him to fully itemize his quote, breaking down costs for labor and parts separately. You’ll find it much easier to compare quotes from different garages when they’re all itemized. The cost of parts should be similar, so you are really comparing the cost of the service.

This article should have helped you gather what you’re going to do next time your car breaks down. Although it’s not really that easy to repair a vehicle sometimes, it never hurts to be ready for whatever may occur. Also, you should now be able to find adequate help for those larger issues.

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