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You don't have to just sit back and do nothing about your car woes. You want to protect your major investment with a strong knowledge base. Read the following article so you know what to do if you need to repair your auto.
Keep a good battery charger in your car. Dead batteries are a common problem, and you should always have a charger or cables on you at all times. Make sure you know how to connect the charger to your battery.
Be sure to wash your car often so as to prevent rust. All cars eventually succumb to rust, however you can delay this process by washing all salt and chemicals from your car immediately. A good wax is your best friend: a friend that will protect that shiny new paint job for a long time.
Prior to having your car repaired, ask how much you will have to pay. If something is unclear, have the mechanic or service counter rep clarify it for you before any work is done on the car. You don't want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.
You should have a do-it-yourself repair kit in your car at all times. For instance, if anything dealing with tire changes came with the car, have this in your car. A good lug wrench and jack are key. You should also have good quality Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers, socket wrenches and a ratchet set, a torque wrench and an adjustable wrench. Never buy cheap tools. Buy quality ones that you are sure won't fail when you really need them.
Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. Work should never be performed without your permission, but a good mechanic may point out upcoming repairs that are necessary. Never give your repeat business to a auto technician who preforms unnecessary repairs.
A daring do-it-yourself approach isn't always the best idea. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Purchase good quality tools that you do not have to worry about breaking. You'll especially need good equipment for changing tires. If you are getting underneath your car to do some work, you want to be very certain that your jack is holding that car up properly. This is why you should get a high quality hydraulic jack with stands.
If you're having serious repairs done on your vehicle, make sure to get multiple estimates. Do not pay extra money for a service that can be performed at a fraction of the cost. Try to find shops that are experts in fixing your specific type of car. These mechanics will most likely be more experienced in fixing your kind of car.
Pay attention to your wiper blades. If you notice your windshield wipers are not working properly, get new ones. They should be replaced yearly or more frequently if you drive in a rainy locale.
Before giving your car to a shop, ask them about their fees. Ask questions until you are sure you have clear answers. How will you be billed? Shops also often give you estimated repair costs and times. Some "Minor" repairs could take all day if they go by those manufacturers' established times.
Before you go somewhere to take care of your automobile problems, learn what you can about car-part classifications. Parts have classifications, including salvaged, new, and re-manufactured and reconditioned. New parts come right from the manufacturer's factory. "Refurbished", "rebuilt", etc. mean that the part is like new, and potentially even better than new, as it has been renovated and tested repeatedly. Salvage parts are used.
Once you have worked on the brakes, you should bleed them before you go out on a test drive. After this, pump your brake fluid. Check for leaks to make sure the fluid doesn't run out. Once you have done these things, you can take your car on a test drive; however, make sure you drive in areas without much traffic. Start slow in order to ensure that your repairs were successful.
Some untrustworthy shops will give you old tires in the place of your original tires. They can make money this way. Before you go in, place some chalk on your tires to mark them up. If the marks are gone, talk to the mechanic.
Keep your mechanic receipts in a file in your glove box. Have them divided by the kind of repairs done or put them in chronological order, with the newest receipts first. It doesn't matter how you set up your file system since you have an accurate record of all repairs and maintenance work done on your car. This record should provide help to your auto technician when additional repairs are needed, plus it will help you if you're repairs are under warranty or if you're dissatisfied with any repair. This is particularly valuable when it is time to sell your car.
Save money by learning how to refill your vehicle's windshield wiper cleanser. If you're feeling especially adventurous, consider learning how to change the oil. You can do these routine maintenance jobs yourself. Mechanics aren't required. Don't be afraid to get dirty hands with your new found knowledge.
AAA is an excellent ally to have on your side when you've got auto repair issues. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. Also, they often have discounts that can save you money.
Dealer mechanics are costly, but often the right way to go. Your dealer's mechanics are usually specialists in your car's model. The mechanics will know about issues that are common for the model you own. They are also trained in various programs they take part in regularly.
Each time you wash the car, remove the car mats and shake them vigorously. Dirt gets trapped in the rubber, which can lead to tearing. These holes are unattractive and allow dirt to reach the carpet.
Any auto issue can be very annoying, even frustrating. It also can cost you a fortune. Keep reading for some tips on getting your car fixed with minimal damage to your wallet and stress level.