You can feel an instant jolt and a loss of power when you’re stripped of your automobile. After all, it’s how you get to work and everywhere else you want to go. What are you going to do? You shouldn’t worry, and instead you should use the following information to help you along the way when making decisions regarding auto repairs.
Monitor your radiator. You need to allow your car to run for a couple of minutes, shut down the engine and then open up the hood. Never open the radiator cap if the engine is running. 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.
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.
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 to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user’s manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don’t be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
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.
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.
Check a variety of sources of information before attempting an auto repair for the first time. Do a good online search, watch instructional videos and seek out books at your local library and take time to talk with an experienced mechanic before you dive in to try that repair. Once you feel comfortable with the concept, make a list of the things you need and the steps you will need to take to make the repair successfully.
Some unscrupulous body shops may replace your tires with older ones. This is done so they can profit from your ignorance. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. If there is no chalk when your service is complete, you’ve been had.
Avoid being run over by your own car! When you jack your car up, be sure to set your emergency brake. Place bricks behind the tires you are not working on to keep your car from rolling. Keep a set of wedges or three or four bricks in the trunk of your car in case you have to change a flat tire on a hill.
How do you feel about the tips and advice that you’ve learned? You should be able to make better decisions now when problems arise with your vehicle, and you shouldn’t be thinking it’s the end of the world. You can get a fair price, and you can stay well-informed.