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.
Find an ASE certified mechanic if you need some repairs. This certification lets you know that your mechanic has at least 2 years of experience and has passed a test. This will ensure that you have the cream of the crop working on your vehicle.
Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
Don’t pay money for air. Familiarize yourself with the correct air pressure of your car tires and invest in an air compressor. Check your tires on a regular basis and keep them properly inflated on your own. Being able to do this yourself on a regular basis will save you money in terms of wear and tear and regular maintenance.
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.
In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.
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.
Take your vehicle to a full service car wash a couple times a year for an extensive cleaning, inside and out. This removes most of the soil and helps preserve the interior of your car. This can pay off when you want to sell or trade your car in for a newer one.
Memorize each light and symbol on your dash instrument panel. When one lights up, it helps to understand what you’re dealing with. Your dashboard lights warn you of potential problems. Problems will worsen if you simply ignore them.
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 you are on a budget and need auto repairs, consider looking into services offered by local vocational institutions. You will pay much less for your repairs and will help students who are under the watchful eye of their qualified instructor.
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.