Trying to find the right solution for your auto repair needs can seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. What are you going to do when you can't determine the cause? Who are you going to hire? Can you buy the parts yourself? You're now swimming in confusion. Keep reading to eliminate the stress and simplify your solutions.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
Take out all of the valuable items in your car when it is being repaired. The mechanic might need to clean out the car before performing repair work, and your personal items could be lost. Everything needs to be taken out of your trunk too.
Follow your car's tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.
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.
Put together a small tool kit for your car and keep it in your trunk. You need to have tools to change a tire, which have come along with your car. Buy a jack if your car does not already have one equipped. You should also include a screwdriver set, a ratchet set, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Never skimp when buying tools. Get high quality tools that will be able to withstand the test of time.
Even if you aren't particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user's manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don't be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won't be ripped off.
You might want to get all problems checked out no matter how small you think it is. A seemingly small problem may grow into a major one if don't pay attention to it.
Always ask in advance how much labor costs at that particular shop. In fact, do not give them your keys until you have a clear understanding of what you will be charged. Many times, this information is not posted in an obvious place, so it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
You need to keep track of all the repairs and transactions with your garage or dealership. If you decide to file a complaint, you will need to document what happened. Keeping these documents will also help you inform buyers about the repairs you did on the vehicle if you want to sell your car.
Lots of shady shops are willing to take tires and put cheap ones on instead. They feel they can get money from your ignorance. Mark your tires so that you can check them later. If the chalk isn't present when you get the car, you've been had.
Keep an eye on your transmission. If it's performing poorly, it could be the actual component, a plugged filter, or a disconnected hose. Have your mechanic check the simple things first since repairing transmissions can be expensive. Common issues to watch out for are no response or a delayed response when shifting from neutral to drive or reverse, hard or abrupt shifts between the gears, failing to shift during acceleration, and slippage when accelerating.
If you need to get your vehicle fixed, choose a garage or a dealership that hires certified technicians. The person who runs the place might have a certification but this does not mean that certified people will work on your car. Choosing certified technicians is a good way of making sure qualified people are fixing your car.
Know what your manufacturer recommends for your car. If you take your vehicle in to get fixed, and you receive contradictory information, go somewhere else. You can also call the technician on the discrepancy. Ask them why they are saying something different than the manufacturer. There could be a good reason, or they could be simply trying to talk around you.
Before you have a mechanic work on your car, get a good estimate of what your bill will be. Understand how much the labor costs will be. This will avoid most surprises. If the repairs will cost significantly more than the estimate, have the mechanic call first to authorize the additional costs.
You should be very careful with the garages or repair shops that offer discounts. This is usually a sign that the mechanic made a mistake when assessing the original quote or tried getting more money out of you. Look for a mechanic who can provide you with a reasonable estimate right away.
Now you are equipped to make the decisions correctly when you are faced with car repairs. While there still will be an expense, you now can feel confident that the ball is in your hands. No more worrying about your next move; instead, you are going to take charge when it comes to auto repairs.