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.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
Ask your mechanic if he’s worked on a vehicle similar to yours. Basic components are usually the same, but there are big differences in different types of cars. If you don’t know, pay extra to get the dealer to repair it.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
The labor rate should be posted in your repair shop. If it is not, ask. Also ask the price of a repair, including parts. Some repair shops display their rates, so read them carefully and be sure to ask about anything you don’t fully understand. You must know what you’re being billed. Shops also often give you estimated repair costs and times. Repairs that seem minor may take all day long.
Know the basics. If you have to take your car into the shop, be prepared to let them know what the make and model of your car is. Also, the actual trim level is important as it will give the technician more information about the engine, transmission and anything else that may be important.
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.
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.
Keep a log that includes information on any maintenance that you have ever done on your car. To make things easy, put this log in your glove compartment box. If there is an issue with your car, this information can help the technician figure out what is going on much more quickly.
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.
Be sure a mechanic is properly certified. Look for the seal of approval from automotive institutes. This lets you know they have training ans will provide you with good work.
Remember that where you live can have an impact on when you need to take your vehicle in for service. For example, if you only travel a short distance to work, your exhaust system may have issues as a result. If you live somewhere very hot, in contrast, you may need to look closely at your engine oil. A “one size fits all” service schedule doesn’t work for everyone.
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.