How To Successfully Avoid Auto Repair Nightmares
Your car is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and not knowing anything about auto repair will just make that investment more expensive. There is more you can do besides being familiar with the make and model of your car. Keep reading to find out more.
Make sure you get quality parts to fix your car. You can usually get better prices if you get used parts from a junk yard but there is no way of knowing how long these parts will last. Do not hesitate to spend more on brand new parts that come with a guarantee.
Ask your mechanic is he is familiar with working on your car. If they have, they probably know what it takes to make the needed repairs.
When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job.
Understand the repair costs prior to leaving your car with any shop. Labor costs especially can run at different levels from shop to shop, especially if a specialist is involved. You’ll want to know what you are getting into prior to learning about it the hard way days later.
If you’re performing your own repairs underneath a car and have it raised in the air, ensure that the lifting device you use is secure. Never lift a car that is not on level ground or on a firm surface. Always use jackstands in the proper position and never solely rely on a jack to keep a car raised off the ground.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
Speak with friends and family about where they get their auto repairs done for some good ideas. You may get a few recommendations from your friends and family that make your search easier. But make sure that you still do your research on anyone they mention. At least look for reviews online.
Be sure to ask for detailed pricing estimates before leaving your car with a mechanic. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately. Since it’s your car, you have to know the cost of repairs. They may be from a manual written by the car’s manufacturer. A lot of repairs that seem to be easy to fix could end up taking a whole day in some cases.
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.
Understand the billing process at the auto repair shop you go to. In many cases, you could get a bill for labor based on how long the manufacturer thinks it will take to repair your car. Be clear about how it works at whatever shop you take your car to.
Keep your car manual in your car. In fact, keep the manual and any other documentation your car may have, including details on past repairs, tune-ups and more. The more data points your auto repair shop has to look into an issue, the better chance that they’ll be able to give you a strong idea about what is going on with your car.
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.
D not fall for the “free oil change” trick. This is just a way for someone to convince you that unnecessary things need to be done to your vehicle. Most of the time, low-quality oil is used and it is not good for your car. Stick with using the type of oil the manufacturer recommends.
If you are taking your car to the repair shop for service, be sure you know how they charge for the work being done. Many shops charge a flat rate for most jobs, but others charge based on the amount of time it takes to complete a repair. While both methods can be quite legitimate, it is useful to know which approach your shop is using to help you anticipate final costs.
Always ask for an estimate in writing before you agree to have any work done. This way, if the shop tries to charge you more later you will have the estimate to prove what you had agreed on. Some shops do this on a regular basis, so be sure to protect yourself by getting it in writing.
As you can now see, knowing auto repair basics will prove to be very beneficial. Besides the fact that you’ll be able to teach people some things and know how to fix things yourself, you’ll have some extra money in the end too. Use these tips as you begin to take on your own auto repairs.