Since you use your car to travel, it’s more than likely important to you. You may not know a lot about cars, but you might want to learn. If that’s what you want, read on to learn about simple maintenance.
Keep an eye on your radiator levels. Run your car, turn it off then pop the hood. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Use a dipstick to gauge how much radiator fluid you have, keeping in mind that most types need to be diluted with water.
Have a DIY kit for auto repair in your car at all times. You need to include a complete tire changing kit. If you lack a lug wrench and a jack, purchase both. Also, it is wise to have screwdrivers, a ratchet set, Phillips head screwdrivers and wrenches. Do not waste money by getting cheap tools. Buy quality, reliable tools that are not going to break.
Keep up with your wiper blades. If your windshield wipers cause streaks or make noises, they may need replacing. Try to replace these blades once a year so that you can drive safely in the rain.
Sometimes you can find a good mechanic who works in their home garage. For basic repairs they can charge far less and you both can be happy. This can save you a lot of money and help out someone who may need it, instead of giving it to a big shop.
Do not use all kinds of extra key chains with your keys. Though it may not seem to be all that heavy, your car’s ignition cannot handle that much weight pulling down on the key. Heavy keys become sticky keys which leads to tumbler replacement.
Keep an eye on all of the warning lights on your dashboard and know what they mean. These symbols light up to warn you of a problem. If you simply overlook them for months on end, there is a chance your vehicle might sustain irreparable damage.
You do not have to have repairs done at the auto dealer. There are many technicians that may be closer in proximity to your house. Whoever makes you feel most comfortable is the person who should be doing the car repairs.
Even if the problem you are having seems minor to you, have it looked at by a professional. Many people ignore smaller issues, and they eventually lead to much larger issues.
Warranties serve an important purpose when your car is repaired, especially when you buy expensive parts. When the mechanic orders the parts, ask him about their warranty. Find out how long the warranty lasts and ask for a printed version of the contract so you can review it.
Unfortunately, some repair shops aren’t honest. They will take off your tires, only to put others on that aren’t as good. Do not let the auto shop you go to trick you. Before visiting the shop, use chalk to mark your tires. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Never buy from a mechanic who promises that parts will last over the full lifetime of a vehicle. This is often simply a sneaky way for unscrupulous parts dealers to get more money out of you. One example of this is transmission fluid. While this does not need to be changed as often as typical fluid, you should still change it every 80,000 miles or so.
One of the trickiest ways that shady mechanics rip customers off is by adding repairs that weren’t agreed to in the beginning. They do this to make you think you are getting a bargain. Let them know you need time to think about it, and then start looking for other options.
Original Equipment Manufacturer
OEM is a shorter way to say Original Equipment Manufacturer. When having replacement parts installed on your vehicle, you might want keep this information in mind. If you specify that you want original equipment manufacturer parts, the mechanic will think you know what you’re talking about. As a result, the mechanic will be less likely to take advantage of you.
You should always get back the old part a mechanic has removed after a new part has been installed. If they refuse, this could mean that they didn’t replace anything. This is troublesome and you should tell him so.
If the mechanic hems and haws about giving you firm estimate, you may want to find someone else. If he does not do the work correctly, you will have a hard time recovering any damages, because you will have no proof of the work that he was contracted to do.
If you have to store your car, you can prevent damage by putting your vehicle on jack stands, then filling the tank. Make sure the parking break isn’t engaged and store your car in a dry location so as to prevent the formation of rust.
You should talk to your friends about mechanics to get some recommendations. This is a great method since your friend has personal experience with them. Avoid taking your chances by going to a repair shop none of your friends has tried.
Do not put regular water in the windshield wiper reservoir. Water is great for the body, but not the system which is used to clean the windshield. Check that compartment frequently and refill it when you need. This will help you stay safe while driving on the roads.
Car care is priority one. Understanding basic maintenance is a great first step. Use these tips for the next time your vehicle starts acting weird or you start worrying about it.