Do you own your own car? If so, you may need repairs eventually. Finding a good auto repair service can be quite overwhelming. The following advice will help you find the right mechanic.
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.
Before you let the mechanic work on your car, make sure that you have all of the prices down. Ask about any additional fees that may come up during the repair and any charges that you may not be aware of. This will ensure that you are not surprised when the bill comes for your car repair.
Before you pay the mechanic, test drive the car to be sure that it is actually fixed. If you don't, you may still experience the same problem with the car once you get it home.
When performing your own car repairs, make sure you budget enough time to get the job done. It's easy to underestimate how long a repair job will take. You may encounter difficult to remove bolts or nuts, or find out a part is harder to remove than you anticipated. Giving yourself enough time to complete the repair safely will make the job much less stressful.
Make sure you get a signed copy of the estimate for the repairs. You also need to make sure that the contract contains a clause that the shop must contact you before exceeding the total on the estimate. This will protect you from getting a surprise bill once work is completed.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store's diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
Always keep some tail light tape around. You could get pulled over and get a ticket for a broken tail light. You should remove the light from your vehicle, replace the light-bulb if you need to and wrap the whole light in tape. This is a temporary fix but it is better than driving with a broken light.
You need to keep track of all the repairs and transactions with your garage or dealership. If you decide to file a complaint, you will need to document what happened. Keeping these documents will also help you inform buyers about the repairs you did on the vehicle if you want to sell your car.
You do not need to purchase a new filter every time you go in to have an oil change. The auto repair person may show you a worn filter next to a new one and claim it is yours, but be firm and let them know that you do not need a new one right now.
If you feel vibration when you drive or have a hard time steering the wheel, you should have a mechanic look at your car. The problem could be cause by misaligned wheels, a broken transmission or a damaged suspension. You should get the problem checked before it gets any worse.
Keep detailed records of all the repairs you did on your vehicle and ask the previous owners if they can provide you with their records. If you need to have a mechanic diagnose a problem, show them your records. Your mechanic will recognize recurring issues and know not to waste time on parts that have been replaced recently.
With all of the sketchy services out there, finding a reliable one can be frustrating. It is important to use the advice that you read to weed out these shady auto repair services. You'll have to take a bit of time, but in the end that will help you quite a bit later on.