When you need your car fixed, you usually need it done as soon as you can. That’s why it’s important for you to not only know what needs to be done but how you will get it repaired. Whether you will do the repairs or plan to take it to a mechanic, here are some smart auto repair tips.
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 insurance either.
Pay attention to the signs a potential mechanic gives to you. If he cannot give you eye contact, rushes his words, or avoids answering any questions you have for him, he may be trying to hide something. Perhaps he does not really know what he is doing or is lying about something else. If this is the case, go with another mechanic.
Think about using a mechanic who fixes cars in his own garage. You want to make sure the person is qualified, of course, but home mechanics can save you money on labor costs. This may result in substantial savings, and you can also provide such mechanics with much-needed work.
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.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.
It is often best to get minor issues checked by a qualified professional if you are not sure how to fix them. Little problems can turn into major issues if they are ignored. Nipping these problems quickly can save you expensive repairs down the road.
Remember, you are owed an estimate before any work occurs on your car. If you did not receive an estimate and work did begin, do not feel obligated to move forward with any sort of payment. Move onto a more reputable auto shop as soon as possible if this occurs.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
Ask about the warranties associated with any new parts going into your car. Most new parts will include a warranty. If something goes wrong with that part after the repair, you’ll be covered for the replacement. Know how long the warranty is good for and if there are any stipulations tied to it.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
If your car overheats on the highway, move to the side and turn off your engine as soon as you can. Don’t try checking on any liquids as they can burn you if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Rather, call a tow truck immediately to get you to your auto repair shop.
With these tips, you should feel more comfortable about fixing your car. You should now have some ideas that can help you to get your automobile repaired quickly so that you can go on with your life. Don’t wait until you have a problem with your car; keep this information on hand so you have somewhere to start.