The freedom that comes with owning a car can be exhilarating. You now have the power to go where you please, when you please. That said, your car can give up at any moment, too. These tips should help to prepare you for such a situation.
When you run into car problems, you should first turn to the Internet to learn what the problem could be. You may find that it is an easy to repair problem that you can do on your own. This could save you hundreds of dollars in labor fees if you had to take it to a shop.
There are many how-to videos that you can turn to for auto repairs. Everything from a simple tire change to changing your fuel filter can be found in video form. These videos will take you through each step in making the repair and will save you the time and the cost of taking it to a mechanic.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
If you notice your windshield wipers are not removing all the water from your windshield when it rain, you may need to replace the blades. This is a simple fix anyone can do. Measure the blades and purchase new ones from an auto supply store. Remove the old ones and snap the new ones in place.
Each time you get your vehicle repaired, no matter what the reason, be sure you have a record of it. Whenever another issue crops up, it is most helpful for your technician to take a look at this document. If you do not have the records, you might end up paying more for the mechanic to poke around trying to find the source of the trouble.
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.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
Major repairs should always be accompanied by more than just one estimate. Even though mechanics are trustworthy in general, you could still wind up paying for more than you should. If possible, find a mechanic who is specialized in the make and model you have or in the kind of problems you are encountering. These types of shops will give you the best bang for your buck.
If you are having car trouble, that doesn’t mean you need to spent a ton of money in order to get it fixed. You can often take care of the problems by yourself. Use these tips to get the vehicle started again.