If you’re performing your own repairs underneath a car and have it raised in the air, ensure that the lifting device you use is secure. Never lift a car that is not on level ground or on a firm surface. Always use jackstands in the proper position and never solely rely on a jack to keep a car raised off the ground.
Follow your car’s tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.
If there are two tools all cars should have, it is a jack and lug-nut wrench. With that, you also need an extra tire. Many newer cars already have them. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. You can save a lot by doing it yourself.
Put together an auto repair kit and keep it in your trunk. Your car came with equipment needed for changing a tire. A good lug wrench and jack are key. Your tool kit should contain these items: socket wrenches, ratcheting tools, a wrench for torque and one that is adjustable, and both a Phillips and a flat head screwdriver as well. Don’t waste your money on bad quality tools. Get good, sturdy tools that won’t break when you need them the most.
When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.
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.
Keep full copies of all of your auto repair work orders and every receipt as well. You’ll want to have this proof available if any workmanship issues crop up. Plus, when you are selling the car, you’ll tend to get more value for it when you are able to show exactly what has been repaired and how.
There is a good way to save money if you are willing to take a risk. Instead of taking your car to a repair shop, take it to the local vocational school. You won’t have to pay as much money to have the car repaired, because students will be working on it while supervised by a mechanic.
Pick up a book on simple auto repairs. You may find that some smaller repairs you can do at home, especially if you are mechanically inclined. Though, don’t go crazy! If it’s an advanced issue, get your car to a legitimate repair shop as soon as you can. Don’t make the problem worse with a shoddy repair job.
There are some shady mechanics out there, and they will resort to extreme lows to get your money. If a mechanic tells you that your axle boot is torn, ask to see it. A legitimate tear will be jagged and greasy. If it is a straight cut, let them know that you know they did the damage and you will contact a lawyer if they don’t fix it for free.