Your vehicle is an important possession and you should take good care of it. You might not have the innate knowledge to work on your own automobile. If this sounds like you, then this article is going to teach you what to do if you need some simple maintenance done.
Regularly check your radiator. Let the car run a couple minutes, shut your engine and open up your hood. You should never open the radiator of a car that is running. With a dipstick, check your radiator fluid. Before adding more coolant remember to mix it with water.
Ensure your car has an emergency kit. Be sure the kit has tools for charging the battery, adding gas to the tank, and changing tires. In the event that your car were to break down in the middle of the night on a deserted road, bring blankets, batteries, and a flashlight.
Be sure headlights are clean if they're not shining as bright as they once did. Sometimes the road can create a greasy residue on the headlight. Use a quality glass cleaner to keep your lights clean.
Keep track of all the repairs and maintenance you do on your vehicle. You may want to have them in the glove compartment, so you can get to them easily if you need an emergency repair. The auto repair professionals will want to look at those records. They can find problems much quicker that way.
Keep washing your vehicle, even in winter. While it may seem pointless, winter is the most damaging time for your car. All that salt and sand is a sure recipe for abrasion and rust. If you take the time to dry the vehicle well before hitting the road again, you can stop icing from occurring.
Record each repair that you have done on your car. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. If you do not have documentation, you may have duplicate services performed.
Always think of how to fix your car's problems yourself before trying to get it repaired. You can save a ton of cash via diagnosing the issue yourself, and you could prevent fraud. You probably already know that certain mechanics will come with lies to charge more money.
Do not hand the keys over until you have talked both price and the rates for labor. Some repair shops have details about their rates posted on the walls, but you should not hesitate to ask about rates if you do not see any information. Make sure that you know exactly how you are going to be billed. They may be from a manual written by the car's manufacturer. Minor repairs can be considered jobs that require a full day of work to some manufacturers.
If you feel that your car has even the smallest of problems, it is smart to get it checked right away. Even small issues can lead to much larger ones.
Before you go somewhere to take care of your automobile problems, learn what you can about car-part classifications. Parts have classifications, including salvaged, new, and re-manufactured and reconditioned. New parts come right from the manufacturer's factory. "Refurbished", "rebuilt", etc. mean that the part is like new, and potentially even better than new, as it has been renovated and tested repeatedly. Salvage parts are used.
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you should quit washing your vehicle. While it may seem pointless, winter is the most damaging time for your car. Salt and sand can tear away at the surface of your car. Pick a warmer day and dry the car completely before heading back onto the road.
If a mechanic won't give you a written estimate, don't get work done. If the work is shoddy, it will be hard for you to recover damages if you have no written contract.
Keep your mechanic receipts in a file in your glove box. Have them divided by the kind of repairs done or put them in chronological order, with the newest receipts first. It doesn't matter how you set up your file system since you have an accurate record of all repairs and maintenance work done on your car. This record should provide help to your auto technician when additional repairs are needed, plus it will help you if you're repairs are under warranty or if you're dissatisfied with any repair. This is particularly valuable when it is time to sell your car.
Don't believe a mechanic who tries to tell you that you need to get your engine flushed as a part of a routine maintenance. This is a costly service and not something that is typically done during the course of normal maintenance.
If the car must be in storage, avoid paying for repairs by putting it on some jack stands and keeping its tank filled. Do not engage the parking brake and make sure the area in which you store the car is dry enough to prevent rust.
Dealer mechanics are costly, but often the right way to go. Your dealer's mechanics are usually specialists in your car's model. The mechanics will know about issues that are common for the model you own. They are also trained in various programs they take part in regularly.
Each time you wash the car, remove the car mats and shake them vigorously. Dirt gets trapped in the rubber, which can lead to tearing. These holes are unattractive and allow dirt to reach the carpet.
As you can now see, it's important that you take care of your vehicle. Just by learning some basic auto repair tricks, you can save lots of money. Use these tips and remember them next time your car is doing something strange or you have reason to worry.