Everyone has to deal with auto repairs at some time in their life. Car repairs can cost a significant amount of money. Whether you are doing the repairs yourself or hiring a mechanic, it is a good idea to know what you are doing. Use these tips to be better prepared when you have to fix your car.
Mechanics should have ASE certification before you hire them. Mechanics can obtain the ASE certification by taking a test and having more than two years of experience. This will ensure that you have the cream of the crop working on your vehicle.
Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.
Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.
It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.
Take advantage of free inspections, but don’t just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren’t strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.
Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible. Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.
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.
Do not make the mistake of having someone fix your vehicle just because the amount they charge is cheaper than everyone else. Many times the low prices make up for the lack in quality work. Doing research on the repair shop in question will help you decide if that is the case here.
Keep a spare tire and a jack with you all the time. Many new cars have these. Having these items will allow you to change a tire and get back on the road quickly, which is helpful when you are stuck in a dangerous location. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.
You should not wait too long before changing the windshield wiper blades on your car. Failing to do this may cause them to work improperly the next time it is raining outside, which can lead to an accident. It is a good idea to change them every couple of years/
Try to find an auto repair shop that is located close to where you live or work. This may not seem like a big deal, but you do not want to have a hard time getting there when it is time for you to go and pick up your vehicle after it is repaired.
One of the best ways to save money is by being informed about car maintenance and repairs. Some mechanics take advantage of those with little car knowledge. Use the advice you learned here to either do the repairs yourself or be better armed against shady mechanics. You can save thousands over a lifetime.