When your car breaks down, your first priority should be to get it up and running again. Having no car to use can be very inconvenient. You don’t always need to pay huge amounts of money for repairs. Read on to find out more about basic car repair.
Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. This kit will include the necessary tools for successfully charging a battery, changing a tire and adding gas to your tank. Also, flashlights, batteries and blankets are all crucial items as well.
There are certain repairs that you can do yourself. Some repairs are easy to make. You can research the problem online in order to find out more about it. You can save a lot by doing small repairs yourself.
If your headlights seem dim, they might just be dirty. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. You will be able to see well when using a reliable glass cleaner.
You need a spare tire and jack with you all the time. They are included with most new vehicles. You never want to be without them, as you could end up having to pay for an expensive tow. It is cheaper and easier when you do it on your own.
Get together a kit for car repairs that you can keep in your vehicle. You should definitely have the tools necessary to change a tire, if you need to. If the necessary lug wrench and jack are missing, replace them. Your tool kit should contain these items: socket wrenches, ratcheting tools, a wrench for torque and one that is adjustable, and both a Phillips and a flat head screwdriver as well. Never buy cheap tools. Instead, you should obtain solid tools that don’t break whenever you really need them.
If you are having extensive repairs done, make sure that you get several estimates. Most shops are reliable but some mechanics will find additional repairs to charge you more. Try and locate a shop that specializes in servicing your particular type of car. These places probably have a better understanding of what you’re going to need done to your vehicle.
Pay attention to the condition of your car’s wiper blades. You may need new blades if they are streaking or making noises. Your wiper blades should be replaced at least once each year.
Inspect your manual so that you know what each dashboard light represents. They’re there for a reason. Do not ignore them, as this can put your safety in danger.
It can be very dangerous to fix your own car. Should something happen, be sure someone else is around. Buy good quality tools that will not break easily. You will need these in case you ever have a flat tire. Remember that your jack needs to hold your car up very securely, especially if you are going to be underneath the car. That’s why sometimes it’s best to get a hydraulic jack that comes with jack stands that are approved.
Before you take your car to the body shop, take photographs of your car from all sides. Some disreputable garages will strip your car in order to up their bottom line. Fight against this kind of scam by thoroughly documenting the condition of your car beforehand.
Many corrupt shops will change out your tires and put in older ones. This lets them profit from your loss. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. After the repair is complete, check to see that the chalk is still on your tires.
If you’re short on cash, the repair department in vocational schools may offer you service at a fraction of the cost. While you will get a discount, students can make the repairs as a licensed mechanic looks on.
Often people return to pay for repairs, only to find out the mechanic says there is another issue. They do this to make you think you are getting a great deal. Tell them that you’re going to have to talk to them later so that you can seek out better pricing.
While going to a dealer costs more, on average they are going to do a better job. The mechanics at the dealership are experts in the type of vehicle you have. It’s easy for them to diagnose and repair any problems your car may have. They also utilize regular auto repair training programs to keep their skills up to date.
Have your receipts from auto repairs in an accordion file inside your car. Sort your receipts by type or date. However you sort them, you’ll have your car’s history on hand should you need it when out on the road. This can come in handy later on.
Should your repair quote run more than a couple of hundred dollars, get an estimate in writing. With a written estimate, you will have proof should the work prove faulty. An unscrupulous mechanic is less likely to alter your estimate after the fact, when you each have an original copy.
Tell your mechanic that he cannot go over a certain dollar amount to repair your car unless he gets your authorization first. If you drop the car off for an assessment, don’t allow them to make repairs without consulting you. Inform them that they must contact you for approval before proceeding with any repairs over the stated dollar amount.
Should you find a repair shop that impresses you with their work, continue to use them in the future. A good relationship with a mechanic can be a great way to make sure the work done for you is excellent. You could even be on the receiving end of discounts for your continued business.
As you now know, you don’t always have to pay a mechanic an obscene amount of money to have your repairs done. The more you learn about maintaining your car, the more confident you become about doing other car maintenance tasks. Make the most of this information so that you are not off the road for long.