Has your car broken down recently? If so, you are probably in need of some repair. Depending on your problem however, it may be in your best interest to tackle the problem yourself. The following article will teach you everything you need to know about making your own auto repairs.
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.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. Mechanics might have to empty the inside of your vehicle and they cannot be held responsible if an item is damaged or missing. Remove all items from the trunk too.
Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Make sure to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true.
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won’t be ripped off.
When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.
If you have a maintenance log, devote yourself to keeping it up-to-date. If it isn’t, your car may undergo repairs that are not necessary and do nothing to help you. Further, this log is an indication to those working on your car that you expect the best for your vehicle.
Understand the billing process at the auto repair shop you go to. In many cases, you could get a bill for labor based on how long the manufacturer thinks it will take to repair your car. Be clear about how it works at whatever shop you take your car to.
There is a good way to save money if you are willing to take a risk. Instead of taking your car to a repair shop, take it to the local vocational school. You’ll get a deep discount for letting students fix your car under the watchful eye of a certified mechanic.
Listen to your gut. If you bring your car into the shop and the technician doesn’t seem to be on the up and up, consider going somewhere else. At the very least, the person probably doesn’t care that much about you and your car, and you deserve better service than that.
Keep detailed records of all the repairs you did on your vehicle and ask the previous owners if they can provide you with their records. If you need to have a mechanic diagnose a problem, show them your records. Your mechanic will recognize recurring issues and know not to waste time on parts that have been replaced recently.
There are some shady mechanics out there, and they will resort to extreme lows to get your money. If a mechanic tells you that your axle boot is torn, ask to see it. A legitimate tear will be jagged and greasy. If it is a straight cut, let them know that you know they did the damage and you will contact a lawyer if they don’t fix it for free.
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.
If a mechanic has always done good work for you, you should get back with them the next time your vehicle is having trouble. Being a repeat customer and using a good mechanic will help ensure that you get quality work. This may also give you discounts on future jobs.
Making repairs on your car yourself can be a bit nerve wracking, especially if you have never done it before. However, if you apply the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you won’t be successful. Not only will it feel great to do it yourself, but you’ll save lots of money too!