If you have run into some car trouble, you are far from alone. Part of owning a car is having to fix the numerous problems that arise with it. Getting it serviced at a repair shop is fine for serious problems, but why not take care of the little stuff on your own. The article below will show you how.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
Purchase motor oil on sale and in discount stores and keep two or three bottles in the trunk of your car. Check your oil every time you fill your gas tank. If you find that your oil level is low, you will save lots of money by having your own oil on hand rather than purchasing it at a gas station for inflated prices.
Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.
Be on the lookout for clear indications that a mechanic is not the right one for the job. If you’re receiving double-talk when you ask them a question, they are probably not the mechanic for you. You want to be able to trust the person doing your repairs, so go elsewhere.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
Make sure to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user’s manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don’t be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
You can fix small dents with a suction cup dent puller. This usually works for very small dents that can easily be covered with the suction cup. If the cup does not work, you will have to apply some filler into the dent, sand and paint until it becomes invisible.
Avoid rebuilt parts if possible. These parts are usually more affordable than new ones but you have no way of knowing how reliable the repairs are. Rebuilt parts have usually been into an accident or stopped working at some point and were salvaged and rebuilt. It is best to invest in newer part that have never been damaged in the past.
Do not ignore unusual noises you hear when driving. Clunks, screeches, clicks and pings are usually caused by loose parts. Take your car to a trustworthy mechanic and describe the noise as best as you can. Your mechanic will probably replace or adjust the parts that were causing the noise.
Talk it out with the service technician. He or she may know what they are doing, but they may fail to adequately communicate with you about what is going on. Therefore, don’t be afraid to question what they are telling you so that you are both on the same page. Communicate your needs clearly so they know what you expect as well.
Discuss what type of guarantee an auto repair shop offers. Make sure you have a piece of paper that states this guarantee, and be clear about what it excludes. You may need to go somewhere more expensive in order to get the warranty that you want, particularly if you are going to be spending a large some of money either way.
Working on your car can make you feel uneasy, especially if you are new to auto repair. However, if you use the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you can’t successfully repair your auto problems. This way, you’ll save money, and feel great about tackling a problem yourself.