Surely you have had nasty car repair experiences in the past. You may have had good ones at well, but no one likes shelling out tons of money and wondering what is really going on. Instead, you want the knowledge necessary to make well-informed decisions next time you are dealing with car repairs.
If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your car to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
Always ask your mechanic for OEM parts. These are original manufacturer parts. Generic may be cheaper, but you don’t know the quality of these parts as time goes on. Though you may think you are getting a deal with generic parts, in the long run, you will end up paying double than you would have if you had gotten OEM parts.
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.
If you need new tires, do not get used ones from a garage or a junk yard. Used tires are not a good choice since they might be worn thin or have already been patched. Brand new tires are expensive but they are a good investment and will help you remain safe.
Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. It is easier on some vehicles than others, however no matter what type of vehicle you have it will be cheaper than hiring a mechanic for the job. See if anyone you know can give you a lesson.
A mechanic who has his own shop is worth considering. Mechanics who work from home are often able to charge less because they don’t have the overhead that shops do. It can be hundreds of bucks less expensive. Plus, you are supporting an independent local business person.
Do your friends or family have any recommendations for good repairers? Their thoughts can make the whole search a lot simpler. Still do your homework on whoever they mention. If you don’t have a lot of time, take a minute to look online.
Make sure to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true.
Feel more confident now that you have the proper information to help guide you through your next car repair. You don’t want to get in a web of destruction which comes from making the wrong decisions. Instead, you want to be on top of your game with the information that you’ve been given.