Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
Don’t pay money for air. Familiarize yourself with the correct air pressure of your car tires and invest in an air compressor. Check your tires on a regular basis and keep them properly inflated on your own. Being able to do this yourself on a regular basis will save you money in terms of wear and tear and regular maintenance.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.
Pay attention to the signs a potential mechanic gives to you. If he cannot give you eye contact, rushes his words, or avoids answering any questions you have for him, he may be trying to hide something. Perhaps he does not really know what he is doing or is lying about something else. If this is the case, go with another mechanic.
If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.
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.
If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.
Keep an eye on your transmission. If it’s performing poorly, it could be the actual component, a plugged filter, or a disconnected hose. Have your mechanic check the simple things first since repairing transmissions can be expensive. Common issues to watch out for are no response or a delayed response when shifting from neutral to drive or reverse, hard or abrupt shifts between the gears, failing to shift during acceleration, and slippage when accelerating.
Remember that where you live can have an impact on when you need to take your vehicle in for service. For example, if you only travel a short distance to work, your exhaust system may have issues as a result. If you live somewhere very hot, in contrast, you may need to look closely at your engine oil. A “one size fits all” service schedule doesn’t work for everyone.
Find out about labor rates before you let a mechanic work on your car. You should have your mechanic diagnose the issues and assess how much work will be needed. Make sure you understand how the mechanic will bill you and have a manager give you an estimate of how much labor time is needed instead of trusting a technician who is not responsible for giving quotes.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.