Don't Let The Auto Repair Market Control You
Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
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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.
Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.
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.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don't want to have to pay extra later to fix those "repairs".
If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your car to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.
If you notice your windshield wipers are not removing all the water from your windshield when it rain, you may need to replace the blades. This is a simple fix anyone can do. Measure the blades and purchase new ones from an auto supply store. Remove the old ones and snap the new ones in place.
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.
Keep a spare tire and jack handy at all times. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
Look to the Better Business Bureau and local consumer advocate groups for more information on the auto repair shop you are considering. You'll want to search everywhere for potential knowledge on this service center before you plop down the big bucks on a costly repair. Often these organizations will have a lot of great intelligence for you to consider.
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.
Many auto repair shops will tell you that you need your fuel injectors replaced when you do not. This is a way to get some more money from you. The proper time to replace them is after every 35,000 miles of driving. If anyone tells you that it needs to be done sooner, look for someone else to do your auto repairs.
Original Equipment Manufacturer is usually abbreviated as OEM. Remember this when you need a part replaced on your car. You'll seem educated if you tell a mechanic you would like OEM parts. This could very well prevent someone from outfitting your car with old parts.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.