If you feel uneasy about trusting the first opinion you get on what is wrong with your car, do not feel bad about this. It is in fact a very good thing. Always ask questions and insist that a mechanic justify any major repairs that he or she is recommending.
Be sure to read your owner’s manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job.
Basic maintenance like oil changes are actually very easy to do yourself. You only need at ramp, a pan, and a few basic tools. Just be sure to check with your city or county government beforehand to find out where to take your waste oil. It is extremely damaging to the environment, and you could face steep fines for dumping it out.
When you top off your motor oil, avoid spilling oil on your engine by wadding up a couple of paper towels around the oil receptacle on the crank-case. This will absorb drips and spills. Be sure to dispose of your empty oil container and the paper towels responsibly when finished adding oil.
Always keep a record of any maintenance done to your car. Whenever another issue crops up, it is most helpful for your technician to take a look at this document. These records will make identifying issues much easier to diagnose and will save you time and money.
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.
Regularly clean your headlights to keep them shining bright. Your headlights will get covered in greasy residues if you do not clean them regularly. You will be able to see well when using a reliable glass cleaner.
Sometimes you can find a good mechanic who works in their home garage. If they are experienced and skilled, you can get the same work done at a much cheaper price. This savings in labor costs can add up to hundreds. It also supports a small independent business.
Do your research prior to choosing any auto repair company. Don’t trust solely the company’s website. Look to auto forums and be wary of any complaints you may see. Also take into consideration any rave reviews the auto shop receives. These are typically objective reviews, so you can trust them more than what the shop’s materials may say.
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.
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.
As you know from the tips in this article, there are things you can do empower yourself when it comes to keeping your car in good running condition. Just because you are not a mechanic yourself does not mean that you must be vulnerable to potential fraud. Speak your mind, be proactive and then trust your automobile to the hands that you choose.