It can be intimidating to figure out what is wrong with your vehicle, which is why it is usually advisable to seek the help of a qualified and trained mechanic. However, choosing the best one for your specific needs can be challenging. Do not despair, as there are things you can do to make a wise decision.
If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.
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.
Do not assume you have been ripped-off by your mechanic because of the high price of your bill. Some parts are very expensive to replace, including engines, transmission systems or dashboard computers. You should ask your mechanic about the cost of the parts he had to put in your car.
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
Always ask about the certification and the insurance of a mechanic before letting them fix your car. If something goes wrong, the mechanic’s insurance will cover damages and usually provides you with a car you can drive until yours is fixed. A mechanic who is not certified does not have an insurance either.
Before you pay for repairs, take the car out for a spin to make sure things are working as they should. People often don’t do this, realizing afterward that the problem still persists.
Avoid costly car repairs by sticking to the maintenance schedule of your car’s manufacturer. By doing regular maintenance on your car when necessary, you will avoid having to fix things due to maintenance neglect. Not sticking to the maintenance schedule will result in unnecessary repairs which could have been avoided.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
Don’t ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.
Always exercise the highest level of caution when working with your car’s fuel system. Never work around fuel tanks, fuel lines or pumps with sources of ignition such as cigarettes or anything that could produce a spark. Wipe up any fuel spills immediately, and protect yourself by wearing fuel-resistant gloves and eyewear.
There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.
Be responsible when performing DIY auto repairs. Just about every item you might replace or repair on a vehicle is environmentally unfriendly. Take care to dispose of liquids such as motor oil and coolant properly. Take used parts to your local junk yard or recycling center. Don’t toss plastic bottles about the landscape. If you are unsure of where you can dispose of these items, check with your local waste disposal agency or an automotive supply store.
As you understand more fully now, you do not need to be afraid of handing over the keys to your car to a good mechanic. They are trained to trouble-shoot problems and offer solutions. Find the mechanic that you trust, then let him do his job in a professional manner.