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Keep Your Car’s Engine Running Smooth With These Top Auto Repair Tips

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by Jack Greenfield
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It is important that you fully understand what all the charges will be upfront, before handing the mechanic your car keys. Should you need clarification about the repairs, speak with the service manager or your mechanic before work begins. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.

TIP! It is important that you fully understand what all the charges will be upfront, before handing the mechanic your car keys. If you don’t understand something, clarify your concerns with the mechanic or service adviser before they work on the car.

Do you own a vehicle? If so, your car will need to be fixed sooner or later. You can feel like you’re going insane when trying to find a good mechanic. Luckily, the advice below can help you pick a trustworthy one.

The best way to find a good auto mechanic is getting referrals. Talk to your relatives, friends and co-workers to get some recommendations. You can gain information about prices and level of quality. People will tell you about the mechanic’s honesty and if their experience was a good one.

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Keep a record of every car repair. This will help the technician when you get future repairs on your car. If you do not have documentation, you may have duplicate services performed.

TIP! Every time you have your car fixed, regardless of the reason, you should take note of it. Having detailed records will be useful if you need to perform more repairs on your vehicle.

Get yourself a good battery charger, making sure to keep it inside the car. Having a dead battery can leave you stranded in some pretty terrible places. Learn to locate the points where you should connect the battery charger on your car.

Check online for reviews of local mechanics. You will get a great idea of how the shop operates this way. Use this information to choose a good shop.

TIP! Look for online reviews about your chosen body shop. You will get a great idea of how the shop operates this way.

Ask any questions you have. Make sure that you are specific with your questions when you pose them. An ounce of prevention can save you a lot of money over time.

Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These parts are directly from the manufacturer of your vehicle. It’s cheaper to get the generic parts, but the quality may not be the same. What could be a good deal in the present won’t always be the best thing to for you later, so try using OEM parts when you’re able to.

Auto Repair Shop

If you do not have headlights that are shining bright enough, you may need to clean them. Residue can diminish their light output. Use glass cleaner to wash them thoroughly.

TIP! If your headlights don’t seem very bright, check them to see if they are clean. Residue can diminish their light output.

Use the Internet to find reviews on an auto repair shop. This can give you a good indication of how satisfied customers are with their work. You can use online reviews to find an auto repair shop that you are comfortable giving your business to.

Ask your mechanic if he has had experience working on your type of car. Yes, every car has an engine, a radiator, and a gas tank, but how they are built will vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. If you don’t think he has, go to the dealer.

TIP! Find a mechanic who has experience with the make and model you drive. Cars vary greatly by make and model so it is important that your mechanic is familiar with your make and model of car.

Test out your car before paying for its repairs. Many people don’t take this crucial step and wind up plagued by the same issue that brought them to the shop in the first place.

Make sure you have both a spare tire and a jack in your trunk. If you purchase a new car, you should have these in your trunk. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.

TIP! Keep a spare tire and a jack with you all the time. Many new cars have these.

Look out for signs that your mechanic isn’t very good. If a mechanic is not giving you straight answers or cannot explain repairs in details, you should keep looking. Run, don’t walk, to another mechanic.

Always have a repair kit located in your car; you can put one together yourself. You’re going to need to have some tire changing tools in this kit at the very least. Buy a jack if your car does not already have one equipped. Also have a few tools like a socket set, both a regular and Phillips head screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a torque wrench. Don’t waste your money by purchasing cheap tools. Invest in quality tools that don’t break in the middle of a critical repair.

TIP! Make a DIY kit to store in the trunk to help you in times of need. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars.

Ask friends for referrals. Personal recommendations are usually honest and forthright. Still do your homework on whoever they mention. Check online to see if there is other information or reviews about the shop in question.

Replacing a burnt-out headlight or taillight is much cheaper when you do it by yourself. It’s easy in some vehicles, and it’s a lot cheaper than having someone else do it. Ask whether someone you know can show you how to fix it.

TIP! Replacing a burnt-out headlight or taillight is much cheaper when you do it by yourself. 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.

Remove fluffy, fun key chains or have it so that your car key can be removed from the bunch. The ignition in your car isn’t designed to take a bunch of weight even if your car keys don’t feel that heavy. Too much weight on your keychain can cause your key to stick.

Check around for a reputable mechanic by asking friends who are happy with their mechanic. As long as he knows what he is doing, he can charge less for the same work. The costs will always be much lower.

TIP! There are many “backyard” mechanics out there that preform excellent auto repairs. As long as he knows what he is doing, he can charge less for the same work.

Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. A lot of places will put rates in the fine print and so you need to read over any paperwork carefully. Since it’s your car, you have to know the cost of repairs. A lot of places will give you an estimate of how long this will take that they were given by various manufacturers. Even a minor job might take all day.

Before you settle on a mechanic, inquire about their rates and prices. Some fees may not be readily apparent, so make sure you know exactly what they are. How will you be billed? Some shops will give an estimate on the repair time based on manufacturers guidelines. A manufacturer may consider a relatively minor repair to be an all day job.

TIP! Find out about all costs before hiring a mechanic. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately.

It is just as important to get your car washed in winter as it is in summer. While it probably doesn’t seem like there’s a point, winter time can be damaging to your vehicle. Roads filled with sand and salt can really do some corrosive damage to your car. Wash your car thoroughly and dry it to keep ice from forming on it.

Keep an eye on the lights located on the dash, and make sure you are aware of what they all mean. They are there for a warning so it is to your benefit to be aware of what they are warning you about. Do not ignore these lights or you might have to pay for more expensive repairs later on.

TIP! Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that.

Don’t try and figure out what is wrong with your car by yourself. Keep in mind that you’re not a professional. It may be a problem that’s harder to fix than you think. Let a professional diagnose the issue. Be sure that you give them all the details, such as what you heard or what occurred. By doing this, a more accurate diagnosis can be made.

Always remember when you need to have the oil changed in your car. Your car’s oil is a big part of how well it functions. Your car will not last as long as it should when the oil is not regularly changed, so be sure you have some kind of reminder.

TIP! Always remember when you need to have the oil changed in your car. If you want your car to run the way it should, its oil needs to be changed regularly.

There are no auto parts that will last the entirety of your life, and you shouldn’t buy any products that claim to do so. This is only a sales tactic that allows them to charge more. One example of this is transmission fluid. While you don’t have to change this a lot, you need to be sure it’s changed about every 80,000 miles.

Check tire pressure each time you fill your tank. Make sure that your tires are not punctured in any way. If you notice any problems with your tires, have them checked by a professional. Driving around with bad tires is not something you should ever do.

TIP! Check the car’s tire pressure whenever you fill up the tank. Inspect your tires and look for embedded rocks or small objects.

Finding someone you trust to fix your car can be a tough process. Use the tips in this article to help you find the right mechanic for you and your car. The right initial effort can prevent much stress later on.

Before you drop off your car at a repair shop, take pictures of what the car looks like beforehand. Most shops won’t damage your vehicle, but you never know. It is in your best interest to have documentation of your vehicle’s condition, just in case.

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