Read your owner's manual thoroughly if you want to save money on auto repair. In this manual, you can find a lot of tips and tricks that can get your car back into gear and save you a trip to the mechanic. Fixing issues on your own can help you in both a practical and monetary sense.
Basic maintenance like oil changes are actually very easy to do yourself. You only need at ramp, a pan, and a few basic tools. Just be sure to check with your city or county government beforehand to find out where to take your waste oil. It is extremely damaging to the environment, and you could face steep fines for dumping it out.
Regularly clean your headlights to keep them shining bright. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. Use glass cleaner to wash them thoroughly.
Always ask about the certification and the insurance of a mechanic before letting them fix your car. If something goes wrong, the mechanic's insurance will cover damages and usually provides you with a car you can drive until yours is fixed. A mechanic who is not certified does not have an insurance either.
It is a good idea to add an injector cleaner to the fuel you put into your gas tank regularly. You will get better gas mileage if the fuel injectors in your cars engine are kept clean. Adding enough cleaner to treat a full tank once a month is usually enough to improve your mileage a little.
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.
If your car needs body work, make sure you know what color paint you have on your vehicle. This information is important for the technician that works on your car. Also, your vehicle identification number is always something good to have on hand. In many cases, you will have to have it just to set up an appointment.
If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.
Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.
Be sure to verify that the shop that you is properly licensed. If they are not, there is probably a reason for it, which could range from fraud to faulty repairs. Never use a shop that does not hold all of the licenses that they should in order to operate as a business.
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The Preventive Maintenance You Need to Do On Your Car (and When)
Anyone who's ever worked on cars or spent a ton of money getting their car repaired will tell you: Don't ignore preventive maintenance. The basics, like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure, and getting scheduled inspections and work done are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. They keep you healthy and give you-and the experts-a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. With your car, that can save you thousands. The Preventive Maintenance You Need to Do On Your Car (and When)
It can't be stressed enough, but you must keep up with your car's routine maintenance. That means changing the oil when scheduled, checking fluids like coolant, and checking the braking system. This can keep repair bills down. In addition, not following the regular maintenance on a car can void the manufacturer's warranty.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won't help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
Be consistent with which shop you go to. You are much less likely to get scammed if you know the mechanic you are working with and have a history with him or her. Get small work done there, and then if you ever need to have expensive repairs, you will feel better about it.
If money is especially tight and you are desperate to get your car repaired, consider contacting the auto repair department of your local vocational school. Students can do car repairs under the guidance of their licensed mechanic/instructor, and you can save a lot money having your car fixed there.
Know what your manufacturer recommends for your car. If you take your vehicle in to get fixed, and you receive contradictory information, go somewhere else. You can also call the technician on the discrepancy. Ask them why they are saying something different than the manufacturer. There could be a good reason, or they could be simply trying to talk around you.
AAA is a good company to look into when you need auto repair. This can be a big help if you need to get a tow or work with an auto repair shop. You'll often find that AAA has great discounts that reduce any out of pocket costs.
see this should be very careful with the garages or repair shops that offer discounts. This is usually a sign that the mechanic made a mistake when assessing the original quote or tried getting more money out of you. Look for a mechanic who can provide you with a reasonable estimate right away.
Always ask for an estimate in writing before you agree to have any work done. This way, if the shop tries to charge you more later you will have the estimate to prove what you had agreed on. Some shops do this on a regular basis, so be sure to protect yourself by getting it in writing.
As you now know, you don't always have to pay a mechanic an obscene amount of money to have your repairs done. Sometimes, you can even do the repairs yourself. Apply the advice in this piece and get rolling once again.