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Need Auto Repair? Read These Smart Tips First

Feb 25

 

It is sometimes hard to see the light when your automobile breaks down. No one wants to face car repairs, whether you are handy enough to do them on your own or have to get someone to do them for you. It all costs money, and you need to keep reading to learn how you can better handle auto repairs.

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Do you have a hard time starting your car? Your battery probably needs to be recharged or replaced. You need to check the state of charge of your battery. You can use a hydrometer or a voltmeter depending on the type of battery you have. If you have been regularly recharging your battery, it might be time for a new one.

Be sure to read your owner's manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.

Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.

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.

Do not be afraid to ask a potential technician any questions you have. It is your vehicle that they will be working on and it is important that someone with the proper qualifications is handling it with care. In addition to asking about the problem with the vehicle, ask them any other questions you have about your car.

Keep accurate records on what work has been done on your car and when. Many repair shops will keep this information for you, but that only works if you see them for everything for major breakdowns to oil changes. This can help in diagnosing problems, as you can show what fixes have already been attempted.

Find a reputable auto repair shop in your area and take your car there every time it needs service. You should attempt to have the same mechanic work on your car when you take it there. This helps the mechanic to become familiar with your vehicle so he will notice problems sooner than someone else.

Replacing the bulbs on your taillights or headlights yourself can save you both time and money. This process is easier in specific vehicles and harder in others; however, doing this yourself is much more affordable than visiting a mechanic. If you know anyone who is comfortable with cars, ask if they can show you how it's done.

Although the dealer for your car's make may provide the highest expertise when it comes to repair service, it may not always be the most cost effective choice. Many independent car repair shops have technicians that formerly worked at dealerships and are factory trained. You may be able to save a good amount by choosing an independent shop over the dealer, without a loss of quality.

Don't be afraid of looking silly when you take your car into a shop. Ask plenty of questions. Make sure you know what is going on. You deserve to understand what is happening with your car, and a good technician will not mind your questions. The knowledge may come in handy in the future.

Before you pay the bill for any larger auto repair work, give your car a test drive. You want to make sure that the repairs were done to your satisfaction. If you haven't paid, it makes it much easier to talk about any lingering issues that may still be around that need further fixing.

Check a variety of sources of information before attempting an auto repair for the first time. Do a good online search, watch instructional videos and seek out books at your local library and take time to talk with an experienced mechanic before you dive in to try that repair. Once you feel comfortable with the concept, make a list of the things you need and the steps you will need to take to make the repair successfully.

Do you feel like you can make a better decision now next time your car is in need? If you have been duped in the past, then you are going to be more cautious and choose wisely. You know based on what you've read that you can take care of things right this next time.

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