Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.

Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.

Ask your friends and family for advice on a trust worthy auto body shop. It can be very hard to find a shop that will not rip you off or produce poor quality work. Asking for advice can save you from a lot of wasted money and time trying to do it on your own.

In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.

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.

You can easily fix scratches yourself. You will need to fill the scratch with a primer that corresponds to the colors of your car, apply some paint once the primer is dry and sand the entire area. Start with a fine sand paper and increase the grain progressively before waxing.

Warranties are very important when you get your car fixed, especially if you invest in expensive parts. If your mechanic orders parts for you, ask about warranties. Choose parts that are guaranteed for a few years and do not hesitate to ask for the printed warranty contract.

If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.

Pick up a book on simple auto repairs. You may find that some smaller repairs you can do at home, especially if you are mechanically inclined. Though, don’t go crazy! If it’s an advanced issue, get your car to a legitimate repair shop as soon as you can. Don’t make the problem worse with a shoddy repair job.

If you have to drop your car off at a garage or dealership, instruct the mechanics that you wish to be called with an estimate before they do any work on your car. Do not let a mechanic convince you to pay for expensive repairs because the vehicle is already partly dismantled.

Look for the AAA logo if you need a reliable mechanic. The AAA is a lifesaver when you find yourself in need of towing or having to take your car to a mechanic. A lot of the time you’ll see that AAA can help you with discounts so you don’t pay as much out of pocket.

Be faithful to your auto repair shop! When you find a good car repair service, you should take your car to that shop as exclusively as possible. In this way, the mechanics can become completely familiar with your car and will keep good records of services rendered. This will ultimately save you time and money. Additionally, when specialized services are needed, your auto repair shop will provide you with reliable referrals.

Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.