Do want to avoid car repair rip-offs? The best way to do that is stay informed. That includes picking the right mechanic. There are some that are not that reputable. If you are doing the repairs yourself, being prepared saves you both time and money. Read these tips to learn more about auto repairs.
Take advantage of free inspections, but don't just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren't strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.
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.
You don't always have to take your car to the shop when there is an issue. Some car repairs are easy to do yourself. If you are game, consider doing some online research to diagnose the issue. If it's not hard to fix, try it yourself.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don't toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
Find a mechanic who has experience with the make and model you drive. Cars can differ significantly, even if the general mechanical principles are the same. A luxury SUV is quite different from a hybrid Prius, for example. If you are unsure, pay the extra to have a dealer do the repairs.
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.
Ask auto body shops that you are considering if they offer a warranty on their repairs. Any reputable shop is more than happy to guarantee their work on new parts for at least a few months. If any one that you talk to does not you should certainly find a different shop.
Make sure your auto technician is qualified to work on your specific car. Motor vehicles are complex machines and each brand has unique characteristics. Some brands require special tools, parts, and procedures. Many standard auto technicians either lack these items or don;t have them easily available. Without these items, they can't fix your vehicle.
If a part on your car has to be replaced, get an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part. If you want your car to run at the highest possible level, it is important not to just put any old generic part in your vehicle. While OEM parts cost more, they are worth it in the end.
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.
Talk it out with the service technician. He or she may know what they are doing, but they may fail to adequately communicate with you about what is going on. Therefore, don't be afraid to question what they are telling you so that you are both on the same page. Communicate your needs clearly so they know what you expect as well.
Look for the AAA logo if you need a reliable mechanic. This organization can help you when you need a repair or a tow. In many cases, you'll even find that AAA membership reduces your overall auto repair expenses thanks to member discounts.
Be faithful to your auto repair shop! When you find a good car repair service, you should take your car to that shop as exclusively as possible. In this way, the mechanics can become completely familiar with your car and will keep good records of services rendered. This will ultimately save you time and money. Additionally, when specialized services are needed, your auto repair shop will provide you with reliable referrals.
Try to gain some knowledge of your car after you purchase it. An auto repair class may be a great first step. While you may not wish to pay for a class, becoming educated on the basics of cars can save you lots of money later since you'll know how cars work. You'll be able to notice issues before they develop into serious ones, and that will extend the life of your car.
Rather than running to the mechanic each time you hear a funny noise or your breaks start to slip, you can depend on yourself. The tips in this article should get you started with basic auto repair. Remember them the next time you're having issues with your car for any reason.