Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don’t want to have to pay extra later to fix those “repairs”.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you need more information on a mechanic or a garage. If some complaints have been filed against them, your Better Business Bureau will tell you. Ask your friends and family about the different mechanics they have dealt with in the past to get some recommendations.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
If you notice your headlights do not shine as brightly as they used to, check to make sure they are clean. Sometimes there is a residue that covers them from the streets and that can make them dirty so they cannot put out enough light. Use a reputable glass cleaner to get the job done efficiently.
Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.
You should always keep a jack and a spare tire with you at all times. Many newer cars already have them. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. It’s less of a headache and cheaper to do it by yourself.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.