Auto Repair 101: Everything You Need To Know
Learning about auto repair can be your ticket to saving a lot of money, especially if you have an old car or one with several problems. This article will provide you with some great tricks that you can use for a lifetime. Read on to start doing auto repair yourself.
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
Be sure to read your owner's manual to find out what kinds of fluids (oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, steering fluid) your car needs and to learn how to check and top these off yourself. Keep a few bottles of each fluid in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.
When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.
When you are going to get your car repaired at a shop, ask the technician what type of parts they plan to use to get the job done. Many places use refurbished parts, but they would be willing to use new parts if you wanted to pay the extra money.
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.
When performing your own car repairs, make sure you budget enough time to get the job done. It's easy to underestimate how long a repair job will take. You may encounter difficult to remove bolts or nuts, or find out a part is harder to remove than you anticipated. Giving yourself enough time to complete the repair safely will make the job much less stressful.
Pay attention to the signs a potential mechanic gives to you. If he cannot give you eye contact, rushes his words, or avoids answering any questions you have for him, he may be trying to hide something. Perhaps he does not really know what he is doing or is lying about something else. If this is the case, go with another mechanic.
If your car's electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a "ground" for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
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.
Know the basics. If you have to take your car into the shop, be prepared to let them know what the make and model of your car is. Also, the actual trim level is important as it will give the technician more information about the engine, transmission and anything else that may be important.
If your car needs body work, make sure you know what color paint you have on your vehicle. This information is important for the technician that works on your car. Also, your vehicle identification number is always something good to have on hand. In many cases, you will have to have it just to set up an appointment.
Stick with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components. If your car needs parts, choose OEM parts over generic ones. For optimum performance, you should have the OEM parts that are up to the manufacturer's standards. While generic parts are cheaper, they're generally a lower quality than the original ones. This means that you may pay more later for replacements.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, there are so many benefits to learning how to do auto repair on your own. Besides saving money from going to the mechanic, you can impart your wisdom onto friends and family members. Remember these tips so you can do auto repair on your own!