When you visit a mechanic, make sure to ask lots of questions. Make sure that you are specific with your questions when you pose them. Learning how to prevent certain issues will help you save a lot of money.
You depend heavily on your car, as it is your primary mode of transportation. You might not be knowledgeable about cars, but that’s fine, as you can learn more about them. If this is true, then you have found a great article on how you can do some simple car maintenance.
Invest in high-quality battery chargers and keep them inside your car. Dead batteries are a common problem, and you should always have a charger or cables on you at all times. Familiarize yourself with how the charger hooks up to your battery.
The warning lights on your dashboard have an important function. Refer to your car manual for explanations. They are there for a warning so it is to your benefit to be aware of what they are warning you about. Ignoring them for extended periods of time will only make the problem much worse than it already is.
Watch out for the type of shop that will take off your good tires and put old ones on. Some shops will try to squeeze every dollar out of you. Therefore, always put a little chalk on them so you can identify your tires. If the chalk isn’t present when you get the car, you’ve been had. Before seeking out a mechanic, learn about car parts’ standard classifications. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. “New” means the part was made to the manufacturer’s specs, by the maker or by an independent retailer. “Re-manufactered, rebuilt and reconditioned” are parts that are restored to a good working condition. Salvaged parts are those that have some wear and tear to them. Do not let a mechanic work on your car before knowing about their prices and how much they charge for labor. Fees can be hidden and need to be detailed. You must know what you’re being billed. They may be from a manual written by the car’s manufacturer. Simple repairs could be an all-day affair.
When you have paid for a new part, ask the mechanic to return the old one to you. If he won’t do it, he probably never replaced the parts he said he did. This should raise warning flags that should be confronted.
Keep track of how often you need to change your oil. Look at your car’s manual to see when the manufacturer recommends oil changes. Failing to get routine oil changes will shorten you car’s life, so set reminders if necessary.
You should not purchase a part from someone who claims the part will last you a lifetime. This is generally just a way to get consumers to buy those parts. There are some cars that carry a “lifetime guarantee” for their transmission fluid: this is a perfect example. Transmission fluid needs to be changed every 80K miles or so.
Become educated on car-part classifications. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage. New parts are just that: new. Rebuilt and reconditioned and re-manufacturered parts have been restored to working condition. Salvage parts just means used parts without any type of alterations. Self diagnosing complex problems with your vehicle is probably something you shouldn’t attempt. Remember, you’re not a professional. Even problems that seem simple to fix may actually be complicated, particularly in newer model cars. Let the professionals diagnose your problem. Just tell them the symptoms you are experiencing, including noises or the “feel” of the car, but then let them do their job. Pay attention to any sounds coming from your car. Noise can mean a lot when it comes to a problem that a car is having. When you are able to tell a mechanic about the sound your car is making, they can find the problem easier, saving you money.
All quotes should have itemized costs, including parts and labor. This will allow you to easily determine which of two different quotes is the best one. In general, it is the labor that will vary, so look at that closely.