When you own a car, you will inevitably have to deal with it breaking down at some point. When it is time to take your car into the shop, how do you make sure that you get the repairs you need at an affordable price? Use the following tips to find affordable auto repair.
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you don't understand something, ask questions until you do. Don't find yourself stuck with extra charges later.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
Be careful of mechanics that do unnecessary repairs to the car. A good mechanic should let you know if they noticed parts that are starting to get worn down and will need to be replaced soon but they should not replace the part without your approval. Don't return to mechanics that do unnecessary repairs.
Pay attention to the signs a potential mechanic gives to you. If he cannot give you eye contact, rushes his words, or avoids answering any questions you have for him, he may be trying to hide something. Perhaps he does not really know what he is doing or is lying about something else. If this is the case, go with another mechanic.
If you feel pressured by the garage or dealership you visit to get your car maintained or repaired, do not hesitate to leave. Reliable mechanics will not put any pressure on their customers and will focus on providing quality service. Follow your gut feeling and stay away from the mechanics who do not seem trustworthy.
Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
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.
Make sure that the technician working on your car is knowledgeable on the make and model. Cars very greatly from one brand to the other. The only way to get the best service is to work with a technician that is well versed on the inner works of your specific automobile.
If you see a small problem in your vehicle, you should take your car in to check it out anyway. Sometimes a small symptom indicates a much larger problem.
Prior to leaving your car for a diagnosis, ask the repair shop about any fees associated with it. The auto repair shop absolutely has the right to charge a diagnosis fee, in fact it's pretty standard. Though, if it seems out of line with other prices in your area, you may want to go to another shop.
If a part on your car has to be replaced, get an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part. If you want your car to run at the highest possible level, it is important not to just put any old generic part in your vehicle. While OEM parts cost more, they are worth it in the end.
You should always pay attention to the way your car smells. An unpleasant smell is usually caused by a leak or an electrical short. It is best not to drive your car and find a mechanic who can come inspect it to determine what is causing the strong smell.
When you purchase certain items at auto parts stores, they will install them for free. Keep this in mind when you go and pick them up. For example, a new set of windshield wipers is around five dollars. An auto parts store will usually install them for you for free, while an auto body shop will charge you around $50.
If you don't think the mechanic fully understands the problem, ask them to take the car for a short drive. Often, they can better diagnose what is happening this way. Always go along for the drive as well, and make sure to point out anything that has been bothering you. If they refuse, the person is probably not the mechanic for you.
If you have noticed that your steering wheel has been shaking, there are probably simple reasons why this is occurring. Either your steering fluid is dirty, or one of your wheels is not aligned properly. Resolving this problem on your own is actually very simple. First, you just need to remove your steering wheel. Then, change the fluid, and tighten up the linkage. Once you do this, the shaking in your steering wheel should stop.
Don't agree to any service or give a mechanic access to your vehicle until you are absolutely clear on costs and labor. The information you need should be clearly posted in an honest auto repair shop. If it's not, proceed with caution and ask enough questions to learn exactly how much you will be charged.
Once you know what to watch out for, finding good, affordable repair services for your car does not have to be difficult. With the information from this article, you can make sure that you are getting the service you need to get back on the road. Keep this advice in mind the next time you have car trouble.