Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
Always ask about the certification and the insurance of a mechanic before letting them fix your car. If something goes wrong, the mechanic’s insurance will cover damages and usually provides you with a car you can drive until yours is fixed. A mechanic who is not certified does not have an insurance either.
Remember that getting OEM parts is important. These are the manufacturer’s original parts. It can cost a lot less to use parts that are generic, but you won’t get the most out of these things after a while. You may save in the short term, but additional failures could end up costing you big time.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
Try to find an auto repair shop that is located close to where you live or work. This may not seem like a big deal, but you do not want to have a hard time getting there when it is time for you to go and pick up your vehicle after it is repaired.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
If your car needs body work, make sure you know what color paint you have on your vehicle. This information is important for the technician that works on your car. Also, your vehicle identification number is always something good to have on hand. In many cases, you will have to have it just to set up an appointment.
When it is time to bring your car in for work, think carefully about whether you want to go to the dealer or a local repairman. The dealer often knows the most about your particular type of vehicle, but they generally cost the most as a result. Weigh your options and go with what is right for you.
Check a variety of sources of information before attempting an auto repair for the first time. Do a good online search, watch instructional videos and seek out books at your local library and take time to talk with an experienced mechanic before you dive in to try that repair. Once you feel comfortable with the concept, make a list of the things you need and the steps you will need to take to make the repair successfully.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.