It can be intimidating to figure out what is wrong with your vehicle, which is why it is usually advisable to seek the help of a qualified and trained mechanic. However, choosing the best one for your specific needs can be challenging. Do not despair, as there are things you can do to make a wise decision.
Mechanics should have ASE certification before you hire them. An ASE certification means your mechanic has a minimum of two years’ experience in auto repairs. This certification also requires that he or she passes a written test. That way, you can have the best mechanics working on your car.
Never underestimate how important it is to carrying an emergency kit inside your vehicle. Your kit should include jumper cables, tire changing tools and maybe some extra gas. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.
To save a trip to the auto repair shop, you should take a look at your owner’s manual. Here, you may find hints or perhaps answers to questions you may have about your vehicle. It can be quite helpful to know the size of your engine or its configuration, which is usually found in the manual.
Understand the repair costs prior to leaving your car with any shop. Labor costs especially can run at different levels from shop to shop, especially if a specialist is involved. You’ll want to know what you are getting into prior to learning about it the hard way days later.
If you need to get your car fixed after an accident, you should contact your insurance to get a list of approved mechanics. Going to an approved mechanic means your insurance will cover some of your expenses. Besides, you are more likely to find a good certified mechanic if you go to a professional chosen by your insurance company.
If you hear a squealing sound when you step on your brakes, it is likely that you need new brake pads or rotors. Do not wait to have a mechanic check your brakes. There will be more damage to pay for and it is also dangerous to drive your car if your brakes are not functioning properly.
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.
If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.
Avoid unexpected auto repair problems while driving by performing a basic safety check before you set out in your car. Start your engine, turn on your lights and your flashers and walk all the way around your car. Check your tires and make sure your lights and flashers are working properly. This simple check will ensure a safer ride and help you avoid the need for emergency repairs.
If you’re performing your own repairs underneath a car and have it raised in the air, ensure that the lifting device you use is secure. Never lift a car that is not on level ground or on a firm surface. Always use jackstands in the proper position and never solely rely on a jack to keep a car raised off the ground.
You can easily fix scratches yourself. You will need to fill the scratch with a primer that corresponds to the colors of your car, apply some paint once the primer is dry and sand the entire area. Start with a fine sand paper and increase the grain progressively before waxing.
Be very careful when touching the electronic parts on your car. You should not touch wires unless the entire system is turned off. You should pay attention to the warning labels on the different parts of your car; touching some parts can be dangerous even when your car is turned off.
Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.
If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.
When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.
Many auto repair shops will tell you that you need your fuel injectors replaced when you do not. This is a way to get some more money from you. The proper time to replace them is after every 35,000 miles of driving. If anyone tells you that it needs to be done sooner, look for someone else to do your auto repairs.
Try to find a shop that has gone out of their way to become certified by various agencies. These certifications tell you that they meet a high standard of excellence when it comes to repairing vehicles. Do remember, however, that this is not the only thing that you need to consider.
As you understand more fully now, you do not need to be afraid of handing over the keys to your car to a good mechanic. They are trained to trouble-shoot problems and offer solutions. Find the mechanic that you trust, then let him do his job in a professional manner.