Automobile repairs are an inevitability. They can be extremely difficult to deal with. By taking the time to educate yourself on proper auto maintenance you can learn to perform your own minor car repairs and save a good chunk of money. This article is loaded with useful automotive repair tips and advice.
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.
Save fuel by driving as if you have a glass of water sitting on your dashboard. This practice helps you avoid jack rabbit starts and quick stops. Each time you accelerate quickly, the engine of your car uses more fuel than it would if you were to accelerate at a gradual increase in speed.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
If any parts of your car need to be replaced, make sure you ask for the (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturer parts instead of generic parts. Keeping the exact specifications required by the manufacturer is essential in having optimum performance. Although generic parts are cheaper, spending a little more on OEM parts will make a big impact on your car’s longevity.
Take advantage of free inspections, but don’t just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren’t strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.
When you are going to get your car repaired at a shop, ask the technician what type of parts they plan to use to get the job done. Many places use refurbished parts, but they would be willing to use new parts if you wanted to pay the extra money.
When you take your car in for repair, verify their hourly rate and total cost of repair before you hand over your keys. Some repair shops have details about their rates posted on the walls, but you should not hesitate to ask about rates if you do not see any information. Make sure you get an itemized list of what you’re getting charged. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. While some things are considered minor repairs, the job may actually take all day.
A dent or scratch in a plastic bumper is very easy to fix. Start by cutting the bits that stick out from the dent until the edges are smooth. You can then use a filler to make the dent disappear. Sand over the area and paint to hide the repair.
Go to a repair shop you are considering for the long haul with a smaller job first. It can be something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation. This will give you at least a better hint of their capabilities, workmanship and friendliness before a bigger issue occurs.
Think about snapping some photos of your entire car prior to bringing it in for repairs somewhere. This way if you suspect something has been removed without your approval, you have photographic proof. Because of this, it is advisable to get proof of what you vehicle looked like before it goes to the shop, just in case.
You need to keep track of all the repairs and transactions with your garage or dealership. If you decide to file a complaint, you will need to document what happened. Keeping these documents will also help you inform buyers about the repairs you did on the vehicle if you want to sell your car.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, automobile repairs are an annoying inevitability. At some point or another you will need to deal with car problems. By using the tips and advice contained in this article you can fix minor car problems yourself and avoid overspending on costly service fees.