Care and maintenance of your vehicle is critical, especially if you drive frequently. There are shocking numbers of drivers out there who are entirely clueless on this subject, though. Thankfully, the tips below are a great start.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
Make sure you get a signed copy of the estimate for the repairs. You also need to make sure that the contract contains a clause that the shop must contact you before exceeding the total on the estimate. This will protect you from getting a surprise bill once work is completed.
Always be prepared for a flat tire by having a spare tire, jack and tire iron in your vehicle at all times. Many newer cars already have them. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. Changing your tire is a simple process that can save you an expensive visit from an auto service club.
Ask your auto mechanic about their A.S.E. certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a test twice a year for it. To earn this certification, mechanics must pass a written test while also having about two years of work experience in auto mechanics and repair. This certification increases your chances of finding competent mechanics.
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.
Learn how to perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. It is very easy to do a tune up or change your oil so there really is no reason to bring your car to an auto repair shop to have these things done. Instead, just watch tutorials online to learn what you need to do it on your own.
Bleed your brakes before you take your car on a test drive. Take the time to pump brake fluid too. Make sure you test your brakes for leaks to ensure the fluid doesn’t leak out. You should then be ready to take your car for a spin down less-busy roads. Be slow when you start so you’re sure of whether or not the repair worked.
Try to find a shop that has gone out of their way to become certified by various agencies. These certifications tell you that they meet a high standard of excellence when it comes to repairing vehicles. Do remember, however, that this is not the only thing that you need to consider.
If you need to find a good mechanic, ask them how much experience they have with the brand and make of your vehicle. Driving a popular and affordable vehicle will make your job easier. It might be best to find a dealership if you do not drive a popular brand.
Find out how often you should perform a tune up on your vehicle. You should find this information in your owner’s manual. You have probably heard that you need to tune up your vehicle every 100,000 miles but this really depends on the make an model of the vehicle you have.
Keep good records of your car’s repair history and maintenance schedules. This often helps a mechanic diagnose problems more quickly. Without a good history of the car, the mechanic may waste time finding the problem. This can be expensive. In addition, when you keep good records, it tells the mechanic you take car maintenance seriously, and that you know what you are doing. They are less likely to “pad” your bill, since they know you are well informed.
With the privilege of driving, comes responsibility. Unfortunately, some people do not know how to find affordable auto repair or make their own repairs. Keep looking back on these tips, if you would like, in order to keep your vehicle running like a dream.