Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
Verify that any prospective mechanic has earned an A.S.E. certification. That means the technician has more than two years of experience and passed a test. This tells you that the mechanic is qualified to work on your car.
Know what your costs will be before handing your keys over to the mechanic. If you don’t understand something, talk to the mechanic first. You want to avoid being surprised with additional charges once the car is fixed.
If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
Ask a technician if they are A.S.E. certified before you agree to have them work on your vehicle. If they have this certification, it means they have passed a written test and have worked in the industry for at least 2 years. You will know that you are getting someone skilled by choosing someone with this.
If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.
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.
To make certain you are turning your vehicle over to a trustworthy repair shop, take the time to read online reviews of mechanics in your local area. By doing a bit of research on your own and soliciting the opinions of people you trust, you stand a better chance of finding a skilled professional to fix your car. Otherwise, you may end up making a decision you ultimately regret.
Keep track of how often you need to change your oil. In order for your vehicle to run as well as possible, you need to have the oil changed regularly. It can vary a bit between different vehicles and cars go much longer between oil changes than they used to. But you must do them when recommended.
Choose a mechanic that is happy to explain the problem to you. Some mechanics feel that they know so much that the customer could never understand, but even if you do not fully understand the problem or what is being done, they should be happy to try their best to inform you about it. It is a huge sign that they are a good mechanic all-around.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.