Automobile repairs are an inevitability. They can be extremely difficult to deal with. By taking the time to educate yourself on proper auto maintenance you can learn to perform your own minor car repairs and save a good chunk of money. This article is loaded with useful automotive repair tips and advice.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
Referrals can be helpful for finding an auto mechanic. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask your family and friends for their recommendations. You can inquire about price, work quality and overall satisfaction. People will let you know if their experiences were good or bad and how honest the auto repair shop was with them.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
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.
Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you need more information on a mechanic or a garage. If some complaints have been filed against them, your Better Business Bureau will tell you. Ask your friends and family about the different mechanics they have dealt with in the past to get some recommendations.
Learn how to perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. It is very easy to do a tune up or change your oil so there really is no reason to bring your car to an auto repair shop to have these things done. Instead, just watch tutorials online to learn what you need to do it on your own.
Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are many shops where skilled auto technicians reside. If you feel comfortable with someone, use them.
Pay attention to any fluids that pool under you car when parked. Small spots may not mean very much, but take note of what the fluid is. Plain water is usually just condensation that builds up on a car naturally. But bright green or orange fluid is the cooling system. Oily fluids are those like engine oil, or transmission fluid. These are warning signs.
Do not ignore unusual noises you hear when driving. Clunks, screeches, clicks and pings are usually caused by loose parts. Take your car to a trustworthy mechanic and describe the noise as best as you can. Your mechanic will probably replace or adjust the parts that were causing the noise.
It’s not uncommon to drop your vehicle off at a garage, only to return and discover a few expenses have been tacked on. People do this a lot of the time to make people think that they’re getting a good deal. Tell them you want to take a few hours to make a decision and then call around for quotes from other shops.
When looking for a reputable automotive repair facility, only consider certified repair shops. Certifications, such as the seal for Automotive Service Excellence, are an indication that the shop has demonstrated a basic level of competence in the field of automobile repair. While such certifications are never an absolute guarantee of good service, the odds are much higher when the establishment is certified.
Always get your timing belt repaired at the proper time, according to your tune-up schedule. A timing belt going out can cause major engine damage, leading to much bigger repairs. Those repairs can run into the thousands of dollars, so don’t ignore that timing belt – you may be sorry if you do!
Don’t necessarily take your car to the most convenient place for repairs. This typically leads you to bring the vehicle somewhere that you wouldn’t ordinarily go to, and you probably won’t get the service that you deserve. If you aren’t sure about a shop, go in and have them do something small first. If you are satisfied, consider using them again.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article, automobile repairs are an annoying inevitability. At some point or another you will need to deal with car problems. By using the tips and advice contained in this article you can fix minor car problems yourself and avoid overspending on costly service fees.