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.
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 trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
Keep well-organized records on your car. You should have readily available records of everything in regards to maintaining your car when seeing a mechanic. Well-organized records can help them diagnose an issue correctly the first time. Unorganized records may lead to repeat repairs and lots of wasted money and time.
When visiting a repair shop, be mindful of warning signs that the shop is not a good one. If they do not answer you directly, you may want to find someone else. Having a mechanic you can trust is extremely important; don’t waste your time with one who can’t make you confident in his skills.
Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.
Make sure your auto technician is qualified to work on your specific car. Motor vehicles are complex machines and each brand has unique characteristics. Some brands require special tools, parts, and procedures. Many standard auto technicians either lack these items or don;t have them easily available. Without these items, they can’t fix your vehicle.
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.
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.