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Auto repair can be a headache whether you do it yourself or hire someone. Doing your own maintenance work on your car is difficult because of a lot of computerized systems. Using an auto repair shop is expensive but probably necessary. Use the tips in this article to find the best way to keep your car well maintained.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.
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.
Make sure you have both a spare tire and a jack in your trunk. The majority of new cars have them automatically. They are extremely helpful if your car experiences a problem while you are out on the road and you don’t want to call a tow truck. It’s far more convenient and less costly to take care of it yourself.
Do not let a mechanic work on your car before knowing about their prices and how much they charge for labor. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately. Know where the estimated prices come from. Some stops estimate repair times according to what the manufacturer suggests. You may find that a repair that is deemed minor may take all day.
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.
Have a repair shop in mind before you run into trouble. If you wait until an emergency, you may end up going with a shady mechanic who is convenient because you are desperate. Ask friends for a mechanic with a good reputation. Then when you run into repair problems, you can trust you won’t be ripped off.
Keep a log that includes information on any maintenance that you have ever done on your car. To make things easy, put this log in your glove compartment box. If there is an issue with your car, this information can help the technician figure out what is going on much more quickly.
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.
Consider investing in a service contract. Getting a service contract is similar to insuring your vehicle; you will pay a monthly fee to keep your contract valid and the company that issues the contract will cover needed repairs. Choose your contract carefully and find a contract that covers things you will actually need.
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.
If you are repairing your vehicle at home you must be sure to put everything that you take off of the vehicle in one safe place. One of the biggest problems that people run into is they lose a part from their car and can not put everything back together. Do not let this happen to you.
Knowing about tires can make the difference in life or death for you and for the family members who ride with you routinely in your car. Getting tires rotated and keeping them filled with air may seem like simple things, but if they are neglected, it can be a serious safety issue.
Any quote over $200 needs to be provided in writing. Written proof can prove to be invaluable to settling any disagreement you may have with the mechanic. It can also help avoid being overcharged if the mechanic has already given you with the written quote.
Owning a car can be an expensive proposition, but repairing one can cost even more. Proper maintenance of your car is the best way to make sure it does not need to be repaired. Be sure you are making the right choices in keeping your car maintained properly by reading the information in this article.