If you could fix your television or computer by yourself without taking it to a repair specialist, would you do it? Of course- it saves time and money! The same applies to your car. Read this article for tips on how to learn simple auto repair in order to save yourself a headache.
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.
See if the prospective mechanic has experience with your type of car. If they have, there is a better chance they can help resolve any issues you have.
If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.
Independent garages and mechanics are usually much cheaper than dealerships. You might get a discount at your dealership if you purchased your car recently but do not make a habit of going to your dealership if you find their prices too expensive. Find out about local independent garages with a good reputation instead.
If your car's electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a "ground" for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Don't ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
If you have never done any auto repair on your own, you should stick with small jobs and do lots of homework to learn how to do larger jobs. Be certain not to start taking your car apart if you aren't sure how to put it back together. Before starting any car repair job, be sure you have all the necessary parts and tools in place and that you know exactly what you need to do to complete the job from start to finish.
Try not to do many repairs by yourself on your car. Be sure someone is watching you repair the vehicle just in case something bad happens. If you buy good quality tools, they will last a long time. This is particularly important for tools that you use to change your tires. Keep in mind that a jack needs to securely hold up your vehicle, especially if you're going to be under it. Therefore a quality hydraulic floor jack combined with sturdy jack stands will keep you safe.
Self diagnosing complex problems with your vehicle is probably something you shouldn't attempt. Don't forget that you are not a repair wizard. It may be a problem that's harder to fix than you think. To be sure that the job is done right, have an auto repair shop diagnose the issue. Give your mechanic plenty of details on the issues you are encountering but do not diagnose the issue yourself.
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.
If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.
You do not need to purchase a new filter every time you go in to have an oil change. The auto repair person may show you a worn filter next to a new one and claim it is yours, but be firm and let them know that you do not need a new one right now.
There are some shady mechanics out there, and they will resort to extreme lows to get your money. If a mechanic tells you that your axle boot is torn, ask to see it. A legitimate tear will be jagged and greasy. If it is a straight cut, let them know that you know they did the damage and you will contact a lawyer if they don't fix it for free.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won't help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
As said in the beginning of this article, learning how to repair things on your own makes life much easier in the long run. Besides saving money, you can get a sense of pride from fixing your car yourself. Remember the tips in this article so you can use auto repair whenever you need it!