Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
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.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
Be wary of auto technicians who perform unneeded repairs on your vehicle. A reputable mechanic will let you know when they see something else wrong with your vehicle and they’ll give you options as to how to proceed. A mechanic who has performed this practice should never be patronized again.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunkof your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
If you take your car to a mechanic, make sure they have the proper licenses and credentials. Before making your appointment, check their reviews online and their standing with the Better Business Bureau. Don’t just look at the positive reviews, but see how the company responds to negative feedback. Every business has the occasional problem, and if they handle the matter quickly and courteously, they may be worth a second look.
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.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equipment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want to be done.
Invest in a detailed repair manual for your vehicle. Even if you are not comfortable enough to fix your car yourself, you will at least get a better idea of how your car runs and perhaps diagnose a few problems yourself. Being knowledgeable will help you recognize an honest mechanic too.
Learn the basics in your car repair manual. Even if you do not plan on doing the repair yourself, learning the basics about your car can help you pinpoint problems quickly. This can help you save money when taking it to a mechanic. You can tell the technician what you think the problem is, saving on labour costs diagnosing the problem.
Pay attention to your check engine light! If one of your warning lights is illuminated, take that as a warning! Don’t neglect it! The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to give you early notification of potential problems. By taking your car to an auto repair shop as soon as one of these lights is lit, you can nip the problem in the bud!
Do not get any diagnostics done at a repair shop unless you can trust the people working there to be honest. There are a lot of dishonest people out there that will damage your vehicle then claim that you need to get it repaired soon or you will be in danger.
The weather conditions in your area can have an impact on your vehicle. If you live in a very dusty area or if it is often below freezing during the winter, you will probably have to get your vehicle serviced more often. It is best to invest in a robust vehicle in the first place.
Always ask to keep any part that was replaced or removed from your car. If the mechanic is unwilling to do this, it may mean they aren’t going to do the work but charge you anyway. Ask your mechanic for an explanation if you notice this red flag.
Preventative maintenance is very important if you own a car. Do not hesitate to spend money on the tools you need to inspect and maintain your car or having a mechanic look at your car regularly. Maintaining your car regularly could help you save a lot on repairs or towing if your car breaks down.
Before adding a towing device to your vehicle, check to see if it rated for use on your particular car or truck. If it is not, it could cause damage that will translate into a trip to your auto repair shop. This is obviously not a trip that you want to take any time soon.