Auto Repair 101: Finding An Affordable Mechanic
Dealing with auto repairs isn't easy, but it can much easier with the tips and advice you're about to read. No one wants to find out that their car needs work done. However, it doesn't have to break your bank or make you want to rip your hair out in the moment.
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.
Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend. No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.
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.
Be careful of mechanics that do unnecessary repairs to the car. A good mechanic should let you know if they noticed parts that are starting to get worn down and will need to be replaced soon but they should not replace the part without your approval. Never return to a mechanic that ripped you off.
Cute keychains are fun, but they are not healthy for your car. The ignition on your car is not devised to hold all the weight, even when you don't consider it heavy. Particularly, if you notice that the key is hard to extract from the ignition, you need to make a change!
Inspect your manual so that you know what each dashboard light represents. They were put there for your assistance, so use them for that. If you ignore them for a long time then you'll just have an even worse problem later on.
Make sure you know where your owner's manual is and use it! If there is a problem with your car, you will be lost without it. Sometimes, an issue is simply a result of a lack of understanding. Pick it up, read through it, and see if you can figure out what is going on.
Ask for a guarantee when you get your car repaired. Make sure you get it in writing and that you understand what it covers. You may also want to pay a little more at a dealership to have big jobs done, such as a transmission overhaul. This guarantees your work will be covered regardless of where you are.
Watch for warning signs with a mechanic. There are a few signs to look for when you speak with them about your car. If they try talking really fast about the necessary repairs, can't look you in the eye when talking to you, or try to brush you off, you should find another mechanic. They may be hiding something or they may only care about the money.
Take multiple pictures of your car before taking it to a new shop. While most shops would never strip your vehicle, some do this to increase their income. It is wise to have proof of your car's condition, should something unfortunate occur.
Don't postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car's individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.
Do not worry if you find a puddle of water under your car. Puddles are usually caused by condensation from your air conditioning system. You should worry if you have not been using your air conditioning system or if you find puddles of water under your car on a regular basis.
Be sure to keep the area where you are working on your car free of hazards. Keep your tools and spare parts picked up so that you and others will not trip over them. Be sure to work in an area with good ventilation so that you won't be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping.
Put the advice that has been discussed here to use as you deal with your vehicle repairs. You will notice that you are much less stressed and actually have a good plan for everything. No longer are you going to suffer through those decisions, wondering if you did the right thing.