Be very careful when touching the electronic parts on your car. You should not touch wires unless the entire system is turned off. You should pay attention to the warning labels on the different parts of your car; touching some parts can be dangerous even when your car is turned off.
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.
When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
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.
Keep accurate records on what work has been done on your car and when. Many repair shops will keep this information for you, but that only works if you see them for everything for major breakdowns to oil changes. This can help in diagnosing problems, as you can show what fixes have already been attempted.
Always keep some tail light tape around. You could get pulled over and get a ticket for a broken tail light. You should remove the light from your vehicle, replace the light-bulb if you need to and wrap the whole light in tape. This is a temporary fix but it is better than driving with a broken light.
You should know and pay attention to your dashboard’s warning lights. They are meant to help; use them to your advantage. Do not ignore these lights or you might have to pay for more expensive repairs later on.
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.
Look to the Better Business Bureau and local consumer advocate groups for more information on the auto repair shop you are considering. You’ll want to search everywhere for potential knowledge on this service center before you plop down the big bucks on a costly repair. Often these organizations will have a lot of great intelligence for you to consider.
Remember, you are owed an estimate before any work occurs on your car. If you did not receive an estimate and work did begin, do not feel obligated to move forward with any sort of payment. Move onto a more reputable auto shop as soon as possible if this occurs.
Do not worry if you find a puddle of water under your car. Puddles are usually caused by condensation from your air conditioning system. You should worry if you have not been using your air conditioning system or if you find puddles of water under your car on a regular basis.
Always read your owner’s manual before you begin to repair your vehicle. There may be information in your manual that you need to know in order to keep from making a huge mistake. To be sure that you do not waste time and money be sure to look through your manual before you even start.