Do you have a car that is in need of repair. Even if you’re not currently in need, you know the feeling. You may have trouble deciding whether to call a mechanic. How can you be sure of what to do? Keep reading for some useful tips on auto repairs and maintenance.

Your radiator needs to be looked over regularly. Run your car for a bit, turn off the engine and then open the hood. Refrain from opening the radiator when your car is on. Check the level of fluid in radiator and add any if necessary. Be mindful that some coolants are meant to be mixed with 50% water.

When taking your vehicle to a shop, ask any questions you may have about it. You can use this time to tell them about the problems you have and to get answers as to what needs to be done. You can save a lot of money when you know how to prevent problems.

There are certain repairs that you can do yourself. You can do a number of things on your own if you know how to. You can take your chances by going on the Internet to find some information to see if you can locate the problem. Simple repairs that do not require special tools can be done by yourself, and can save you money.

Every time your car is repaired, no matter why it is, keep a record of the repair. Having detailed records will be useful if you need to perform more repairs on your vehicle. If you don’t have a record of past work, it may cost you money and make it hard for the technician to diagnose the problem.

There is no better way to find an auto mechanic than to get a referral. Get recommendations from family and friends. Ask them how good the work was, how much they were charged, and if they were satisfied. Avoid the mechanics who overcharged your friends or were not honest with them.

Look out for any mechanics that add unnecessary repairs. Make sure that you give your approval first before a repair is done. Avoid mechanics that have previously done work without your go ahead.

Look over the manual that came with your car. When you do have to deal with a mechanic, you can show him the copy of the manual, which can help him. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.

Ask your mechanic to use OEM parts. These parts come from the manufacturer of your car. It can cost a lot less to use parts that are generic, but you won’t get the most out of these things after a while. A great deal can cost you tons down the road.

Once a repair shop has finished with your car, go on a quick spin to make sure things are working properly. Many people don’t do this, and the car ends up with the same issues that were supposed to be repaired.

Repairs like burned out taillights or headlights can be fixed on your own. It’s easy in some vehicles, and it’s a lot cheaper than having someone else do it. Ask a friend if they can show you how it should be done.

Don’t leave valuables in your car while you’re having it repaired. The mechanic might need to move these things so they can do the job, and they won’t assume responsibility if anything comes up missing. You want to remove items from your trunk also.

Before taking your car in, ask friends for referrals. The people you know can be the best help in finding a reputable mechanic. Word of mouth is important advertising. You’ll still need to do some investigating. If you don’t have a lot of time, take a minute to look online.

Make a DIY kit to store in the trunk to help you in times of need. The basic tools you will need include the tire changing equipment which should have come with your car. Be sure to purchase a lug wrench and a car jack if you haven’t got one. Also have a few tools like a socket set, both a regular and Phillips head screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a torque wrench. Avoid purchasing cheap tools. Instead, you should obtain solid tools that don’t break whenever you really need them.

Do not let a mechanic work on your car before knowing about their prices and how much they charge for labor. Some repair shops have details about their rates posted on the walls, but you should not hesitate to ask about rates if you do not see any information. Know where the estimated prices come from. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. You may find that a repair that is deemed minor may take all day.

Before you decide on an auto shop, ask your friends to talk about their car repair experiences. The search process can be improved with recommendations from friend and loved ones. Still, you want to follow up by doing other research. Checking out online customer reviews for a given garage is a must, and it doesn’t take long at all.

Look at all lights that flash on the dashboard and learn what they mean. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you. Yes, there are sometimes false positives, but it is risky to ignore these warning lights. If you do so, a problem can get worse and become more costly to fix.

Always shop around and get a second opinion before paying for an expensive repair. Some shops have their rates in conspicuous places, so read carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Make sure that you know exactly how you are going to be billed. Many car dealerships may charge by “book time” which is a set rate based on how long the repair should take to do. Some repairs that are deemed “minor” may be all day jobs according to the manufacturer.

Use the tips above the next time your car is in need of repairs. Of course, you’re going to need to continue getting knowledge about these things. Stay confident in knowing that you’re boosting your knowledge of a crucial subject.

Keep in mind that you don’t need the dealer for auto repairs. There are a variety of mechanics and auto shops on offer for you to chose from. If you find someone that you’re comfortable with, they should be used.

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