Though many Americans depend on a safe and reliable vehicle to get around, it’s also a big investment. And, while maintaining your vehicle with regular servicing and tune-ups can go a long way to extending its life, finding an auto mechanic you can count on may prove to be a challenge. In fact, a recent survey found
Though many Americans depend on a safe and reliable vehicle to get around, it’s also a big investment. And, while maintaining your vehicle with regular servicing and tune-ups can go a long way to extending its life, finding an auto mechanic you can count on may prove to be a challenge. In fact, a recent survey found that more than 66% of U.S. drivers don’t trust auto repair shops in general.
So how do you identify an experienced, trustworthy mechanic who not only does a good job but also charges fairly — especially if you don’t know much about auto repairs and/or local businesses?
If you drive a car with any degree of regularity, it is important to understand the fundamentals of quality auto repair. There are shocking numbers of drivers out there who are entirely clueless on this subject, though. This article is filled with tips that will help you take good care of your vehicle over the years.
Do not give your keys to your mechanic before knowing more about the cost of the repairs. If you don’t understand something, clarify your concerns with the mechanic or service adviser before they work on the car. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected charges after the repairs are done.
Prior to bringing your car to a shop for a repairs, try to find out what the issue is. If you know what the problem is, you can save money and also easily identify any repair shop that is trying to scam you. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.
A spare tire and a jack are essential items to keep in your trunk. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. It’s less of a headache and cheaper to do it by yourself.
Ask about prices and labor rates before you give your keys to a mechanic. Many shops display a list of their rates, so make sure you understand everything involved in their billing practices. You must know what you’re being billed. Auto repair shops may use the estimated repair time established by certain manufacturers. Sometimes, minor jobs may take longer than indicated.
Be sure you know how often the oil needs changing. Your oil must be changed regularly for you car to run properly. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.
While your car issues may seem minor, it never hurts to have them checked out by a professional. An issue that might seem minor could end up turning into a nightmare down the road.
Warranties serve an important purpose when your car is repaired, especially when you buy expensive parts. Ask the mechanic about your warranty in regards to parts they’re ordering for your car. See how long they should last and request a contract, too.
Bleed brakes after you’ve worked on them and before test driving them. After the bleeding process, make sure the brake fluid is pumped. Look for leaks and make sure the fluid will not run out. After this, you can test your car in light traffic. Drive slowly at first so that you can ensure your repairs have been performed correctly.
If you have bought a car and feel there is an issue that could harm you, speak with the manufacturer. It may be a recall issue if multiple people report the same problem. The manufacturer may fix the problem at no cost to you.
If you are worried about no one being there when you need auto repairs, sign up for AAA. The AAA membership will prove to be invaluable if you break down on the side of the road. They will tow your car to a nearby mechanic. Also, you can use discounts to save a lot of money through AAA.
Check fluid levels and fill them yourself. This is easy. It’s a myth that only professional mechanics can perform routine maintenance on a car. Understand the steps and then get to work.
When a mechanic gives you a diagnosis, get a second opinion before deciding to fix your car. Call other garages or dealerships and ask how much they would charge you for the kind of repairs the first mechanic is advocating. If a cheaper price is available elsewhere, you can pay for whatever the diagnostics cost and see about getting it fixed at the other place.
When a mechanic fixes a part on your car, ask for evidence of the old part. If the mechanic is unwilling to do this, it may mean they aren’t going to do the work but charge you anyway. This is a red flag that should be raised.
Get a written estimate if the quote is much over one hundred dollars. Getting the estimate in writing can help you if ever you have to complain about the mechanic. It also ensures that no extra fees can be added later.
If you want to know how to diagnose problems with your vehicle, then you should learn a few things about its critical components. It may even be a good idea to take a car repair class at the local community college. The money you spend on a class will be well worth it. You’ll be able to notice issues before they develop into serious ones, and that will extend the life of your car.
Having a car means having to keep it in good, working condition. However, quite a few people aren’t aware that they can really learn how to take care of their vehicles. Now you know what is necessary to keep a car running properly at all times.
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