Auto Repair 101: Everything You Need To Know
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.
When doing your own work on your automobile, you want to make sure you never take things too far in error. You're saving yourself some money by doing it yourself, but if you're not sure about something, you need to find out or let a professional handle the matter. You could end up costing yourself so much money.
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.
Do not make the mistake of having someone fix your vehicle just because the amount they charge is cheaper than everyone else. Many times the low prices make up for the lack in quality work. Doing research on the repair shop in question will help you decide if that is the case here.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
Don't neglect wiper blades. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. They should be replaced yearly or more frequently if you drive in a rainy locale.
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.
Listen for any strange noises that your car may be making. These may be popping sounds, knocks, squeals, or something else. They are definitely symptoms of some sort of issue that needs auto repair. Keep a log of when you hear them, and note the type of driving you were doing when they occurred. It will help the auto shop diagnose the issue properly.
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.
Don't postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car's individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.
You should always pay attention to the way your car smells. An unpleasant smell is usually caused by a leak or an electrical short. It is best not to drive your car and find a mechanic who can come inspect it to determine what is causing the strong smell.
Before you make an appointment to take your car to the mechanic, take a moment to look through your cars owner's manual. You may find that the problem you are experiencing is the result of failing to understand how your car's controls function rather than a malfunction requiring costly repairs.
If your key "sticks" when you put it in the ignition, you will most likely need a new ignition switch as soon as possible. Having your key stick usually indicates that the switch is failing. If that switch is not fixed in a timely fashion, you could get stranded somewhere.
Once a mechanic diagnoses your car, ask if you can take some time to consider whether or not you want to hire them. Call other garages or dealerships and ask how much they would charge you for the kind of repairs the first mechanic is advocating. If you find someone that can repair your car for less, pay the first mechanic for the diagnosis only and have your car repaired elsewhere.
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.