If you feel uneasy about trusting the first opinion you get on what is wrong with your car, do not feel bad about this. It is in fact a very good thing. Always ask questions and insist that a mechanic justify any major repairs that he or she is recommending.
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.
If any parts of your car need to be replaced, make sure you ask for the (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturer parts instead of generic parts. Keeping the exact specifications required by the manufacturer is essential in having optimum performance. Although generic parts are cheaper, spending a little more on OEM parts will make a big impact on your car’s longevity.
Follow your car’s tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.
It is a good idea to add an injector cleaner to the fuel you put into your gas tank regularly. You will get better gas mileage if the fuel injectors in your cars engine are kept clean. Adding enough cleaner to treat a full tank once a month is usually enough to improve your mileage a little.
There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.
It can’t be stressed enough, but you must keep up with your car’s routine maintenance. That means changing the oil when scheduled, checking fluids like coolant, and checking the braking system. This can keep repair bills down. In addition, not following the regular maintenance on a car can void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Always ask in advance how much labor costs at that particular shop. In fact, do not give them your keys until you have a clear understanding of what you will be charged. Many times, this information is not posted in an obvious place, so it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
Keep your car manual in your car. In fact, keep the manual and any other documentation your car may have, including details on past repairs, tune-ups and more. The more data points your auto repair shop has to look into an issue, the better chance that they’ll be able to give you a strong idea about what is going on with your car.
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.
If you take your car into a shop, expect to be asked about additional service. However, you don’t have to take them up on this. Simply get done what you need to get done. If you feel someone is pressuring you too much, move on. While it is their job to try and sell you on as much as possible, you need to feel good with whoever you are working with.
Always inquire about the qualifications and experience of the technician who will be repairing your car. You want to know if they have experience working on your make and model of car. You also want to know if your mechanic has any special qualifications, like A.S.E. certification, that demonstrate their competence.
Learn the basics in your car repair manual. Even if you do not plan on doing the repair yourself, learning the basics about your car can help you pinpoint problems quickly. This can help you save money when taking it to a mechanic. You can tell the technician what you think the problem is, saving on labor costs diagnosing the problem.
Be sure to get a written estimate from your auto mechanic before he does nay work on your car. Even if he tells you a price verbally, you should try getting it down on paper. Many states do not allow anyone to charge too much more than the estimate given at the beginning.
Ask for your old parts back when they’re replaced. If he won’t, he may not have replaced them in the first place. Unfortunately, this may be a warning that the mechanic is not being truthful.
Choose a repair shop that can provide you with a guarantee. Ask for a written version of the guarantee to make sure it covers the repairs and the parts. A good guarantee should cover additional repairs in case you have to bring the car back to the repair shop because the first repairs did not hold.
While it is tempting to use cheaper aftermarket parts on your car, it is best to go with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These are parts designed by the maker of your car. The fit is perfect. For a machine as expertly engineered as a modern automobile, this will extend the life of your car.
As you know from the tips in this article, there are things you can do empower yourself when it comes to keeping your car in good running condition. Just because you are not a mechanic yourself does not mean that you must be vulnerable to potential fraud. Speak your mind, be proactive and then trust your automobile to the hands that you choose.