If you have run into some car trouble, you are far from alone. Part of owning a car is having to fix the numerous problems that arise with it. Getting it serviced at a repair shop is fine for serious problems, but why not take care of the little stuff on your own. The article below will show you how.
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
Read your owner’s manual thoroughly if you want to save money on auto repair. In this manual, you can find a lot of tips and tricks that can get your car back into gear and save you a trip to the mechanic. Fixing issues on your own can help you in both a practical and monetary sense.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
Do you understand what the estimated cost for your fix is? If a certain cost confuses you, don’t hesitate to clear this up with the mechanic before allowing him or her to make repairs to your vehicle. Don’t be surprised with extra costs when the car has been fixed.
When taking your car to the mechanic’s, you should not leave before having a complete diagnosis of what needs to be fixed. If the mechanic refuses to look at the car right away or does not want to give you a quote for the issues he diagnosed, find someone else.
Before you actually take your car to a mechanic, try to assess what the problem is first. This will save you a great deal of money and protect you against fraud. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Find a reputable auto repair shop in your area and take your car there every time it needs service. You should attempt to have the same mechanic work on your car when you take it there. This helps the mechanic to become familiar with your vehicle so he will notice problems sooner than someone else.
Ask your auto mechanic about their A.S.E. certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a test twice a year for it. To earn this certification, mechanics must pass a written test while also having about two years of work experience in auto mechanics and repair. This certification increases your chances of finding competent mechanics.
Unless it is required by your car’s warranty, don’t feel obligated to use the repair shop at the dealership. There are many reputable independent auto repair shops and they are often cheaper. Ask your friends and family members for a recommendation if you are unsure which shops in your area are trustworthy.
If you take your car to an auto repair shop to get one thing fixed and they tell you that other repairs are needed, thank them for the information and decline the additional services. Go to several other places and get quotes before allowing them to do any more work on your car.
Working on your car can make you feel uneasy, especially if you are new to auto repair. However, if you use the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you can’t successfully repair your auto problems. This way, you’ll save money, and feel great about tackling a problem yourself.