Tips That Will Help You Become Your Own Mechanic

Before you hand over your car to the shop, be sure you are clear about the repair costs. If you do not understand something, have it cleared up with the mechanic before he or she makes the repairs. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.

Ask your friends and family for advice on a trust worthy auto body shop. It can be very hard to find a shop that will not rip you off or produce poor quality work. Asking for advice can save you from a lot of wasted money and time trying to do it on your own.

Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible. Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.

Independent garages and mechanics are usually much cheaper than dealerships. You might get a discount at your dealership if you purchased your car recently but do not make a habit of going to your dealership if you find their prices too expensive. Find out about local independent garages with a good reputation instead.

Ask for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. OEM parts are parts that are made by the manufacturer. Generic parts may be cheaper, but the quality may not be the same as OEM parts. What may seem like a deal now can cost twice as much as buying OEM in the first place.

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.

Repairs like burned out taillights or headlights can be fixed on your own. Some vehicles have a simpler system than others, but you can save a lot by doing it yourself regardless of how complex your system is. Ask someone you know if they can instruct you on how to do it.

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.

Replacing a charcoal canister is very expensive, but you can easily replace this part yourself. Take off the wheel located under your fuel tank and disconnect the vacuum lines connected to the old canister. The part should then come right off. Install the new one and connect the lines very carefully before installing the wheel again.

Keep your auto repair shops business card in your car at all times. You never know when something could go wrong with your vehicle. You’ll want your favorite auto shop’s phone number handy, though, when it does. Another option is to program all of their contact information in your phone.

The Best Auto Repair Advice For Your Car

There are many how-to videos that you can turn to for auto repairs. Everything from a simple tire change to changing your fuel filter can be found in video form. These videos will take you through each step in making the repair and will save you the time and the cost of taking it to a mechanic.

Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.

You must wash your car to keep the rust away. Although all cars rust at some point in time, it is possible to delay this from occurring by washing off salt and chemicals immediately. Make sure to wax your car so as to protect the paint.

Know your car before taking it in for any auto repairs. If you have little knowledge on the specs of your model car, you may end up being taken for a ride without you knowing it. Read through your manual at the bare minimum before going for any larger repairs.

There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.

If a part on your car has to be replaced, get an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part. If you want your car to run at the highest possible level, it is important not to just put any old generic part in your vehicle. While OEM parts cost more, they are worth it in the end.

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.

Don’t buy any parts that come with a promise of lasting a lifetime. A lot of the time they just say this so that they’re able to make more off of you. Some cars may come with transmission fluid guaranteed for a “lifetime”. While the transmission fluid will last quite a while, it won’t last forever. It is best to change it at the 80,000 mile mark.

If you take your car into a shop, expect to be asked about additional service. However, you don’t have to take them up on this. Simply get done what you need to get done. If you feel someone is pressuring you too much, move on. While it is their job to try and sell you on as much as possible, you need to feel good with whoever you are working with.

When you purchase certain items at auto parts stores, they will install them for free. Keep this in mind when you go and pick them up. For example, a new set of windshield wipers is around five dollars. An auto parts store will usually install them for you for free, while an auto body shop will charge you around $50.

Be sure to request a written cost estimate for all repair work to be done on your automobile. The estimate must identify the specific work to be done, as well as what the repairs will cost you. It is essential that the estimate is signed by a representative of the company.