Anyone who drives a car needs to know a little bit about repairing it. Unfortunately, this is not legally required, so most people never learn these basics. Luckily, this article has tips to get your car in good working order.

Make sure there is an emergency kit located in your vehicle at all times. A battery charger, tire changing tools and an extra can of gas are just a few of the items to have on hand. For night time breakdowns, make sure to include warm blankets and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Before allowing an auto shop to do repairs to your vehicle, ensure you are aware of the total cost. Have your mechanic or service adviser clarify all the details before agreeing to getting your vehicle fixed. You don’t want to be surprised with a higher charge than you were expecting.

Check your coolant levels frequently. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up the hood. Never open the radiator on a running car. Look at the coolant you have in your radiator by checking it with a dipstick but remember that coolant usually needs to be mixed with water before putting it into your vehicle.

In order to prevent rust to your car, wash it on a regular basis. Although all cars rust at some point in time, it is possible to delay this from occurring by washing off salt and chemicals immediately. Wax your car to keep paint in good condition, too.

Referrals are your best best when searching for a trustworthy mechanic. Ask the people you know and trust who they take their vehicles to. You can learn about the quality of work, the pricing and if they were satisfied with the service. People will let you know if their experiences were good or bad and how honest the auto repair shop was with them.

You car records need to be kept on hand. One good place to keep them is in a folder in the trunk right above your spare tire. Auto repair professionals likely will want to see those records. The records can help them figure out the problem.

Record each repair that you have done on your car. If your car has issues in the future, it is useful to be able to give your mechanic all such records. If you don’t have these records, you could pay lots more money and it can be harder to figure out where the issues is.

Unnecessary Repairs

Avoid mechanics who charge you for repairs that are not really needed. All reputable mechanics will notify you before doing any repairs and will inform you of any parts that could require repairs in the immediate future. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.

Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. Make sure that you give your approval first before a repair is done. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.

If your headlights don’t seem very bright, check them to see if they are clean. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. You will be able to see well when using a reliable glass cleaner.

Ask for parts that are classified as OEM parts. These parts are directly from the manufacturer of your vehicle. While they often cost a little more, they typically work better for longer periods of time. It may cost you more in the end to use generic parts even though you save money now.

See if you can predetermine your vehicle’s issue prior to attending at the mechanics. When you self-diagnose, you avoid fraud and save money. As you have likely heard, some mechanics will lie about the problem in order to make more money.

Keep your eye out for mechanics that do not measure up. If you are being talked to in circles and your questions aren’t answered, then you will want to go elsewhere. It is important that you establish trust with the person who is going to fix your vehicle.

Know what the lights on the dashboard mean. They’re there for a reason. Whatever problem they are indicating will only get worse the longer you ignore it.

Owning a car means you have the ultimate responsibility of keeping it in working order. You need to educate yourself about auto repairs and maintenance to do a good job. Refer back to this article so that you can keep your car running properly at all times.

Educate yourself on the basics of car repairs and warranties before going to the mechanic. Know the difference between rebuilt and reconditioned, new, and salvage parts. New parts are brand new and made to the manufacturer’s specification. Rebuilt and reconditioned and re-manufacturered parts have been restored to working condition. Salvaged parts are those that have some wear and tear to them.

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