Has your car broken down recently? If so, you are probably in need of some repair. Depending on your problem however, it may be in your best interest to tackle the problem yourself. The following article will teach you everything you need to know about making your own auto repairs.
Invest in a quality battery charger and always keep it in your car. Dead batteries are pretty common and you can help others if you own a battery charger. Make sure you learn the points on your car where the battery charger should be connected.
Keep an eye on your radiator levels. Let the car run briefly, shut the engine, then open the hood. Refrain from opening the radiator when your car is on. Use a dipstick to check the radiator’s fluid level, and remember to always mix water in with your coolant if need be. Some coolants come premixed.
If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.
Keep your car’s owner manual handy. Knowing vital car information can really help when something unexpected occurs. If you know your car’s controls, you may even avoid a trip to a mechanic. If you do need a mechanic, you should have the make, model, and trim level available so that they can figure out things like your transmission configuration, size, etc. much quicker.
Save some money by using your local auto parts store’s diagnostic equiptment. Many are more than happy to let their customers use it because you may then purchase parts at their store. You benefit because you may have a small problem you can fix or you can just tell your mechanic what you want done.
Know your car before taking it in for any auto repairs. If you have little knowledge on the specs of your model car, you may end up being taken for a ride without you knowing it. Read through your manual at the bare minimum before going for any larger repairs.
If you are planning a road trip, make sure that you go and have your car serviced. Plan it a little ahead so you are not rushing to get it done at the last minute. Even if your car feels fine, you want to make sure that you will make it to your destination and back with no issues.
If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.
It can’t be stressed enough, but you must keep up with your car’s routine maintenance. That means changing the oil when scheduled, checking fluids like coolant, and checking the braking system. This can keep repair bills down. In addition, not following the regular maintenance on a car can void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Avoid rebuilt parts if possible. These parts are usually more affordable than new ones but you have no way of knowing how reliable the repairs are. Rebuilt parts have usually been into an accident or stopped working at some point and were salvaged and rebuilt. It is best to invest in newer part that have never been damaged in the past.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
You should be consistent with where you get your car repaired. Find one shop that you like and stick with them. Different shops could end up telling you something totally unrelated to your problem is wrong. They will provide different estimates, too.
Before you have a mechanic work on your car, get a good estimate of what your bill will be. Understand how much the labor costs will be. This will avoid most surprises. If the repairs will cost significantly more than the estimate, have the mechanic call first to authorize the additional costs.
Making repairs on your car yourself can be a bit nerve wracking, especially if you have never done it before. However, if you apply the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you won’t be successful. Not only will it feel great to do it yourself, but you’ll save lots of money too!