If you feel uneasy about trusting the first opinion you get on what is wrong with your car, do not feel bad about this. It is in fact a very good thing. Always ask questions and insist that a mechanic justify any major repairs that he or she is recommending.

It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.

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.

To make certain you are turning your vehicle over to a trustworthy repair shop, take the time to read online reviews of mechanics in your local area. By doing a bit of research on your own and soliciting the opinions of people you trust, you stand a better chance of finding a skilled professional to fix your car. Otherwise, you may end up making a decision you ultimately regret.

Change your oil at least once every couple of months to stay safe. Your vehicle may mot run smoothly or efficiently if you do not take this important step. Your car will not last as long as it should when the oil is not regularly changed, so be sure you have some kind of reminder.

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.

Stick with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components. If your car needs parts, choose OEM parts over generic ones. For optimum performance, you should have the OEM parts that are up to the manufacturer’s standards. While generic parts are cheaper, they’re generally a lower quality than the original ones. This means that you may pay more later for replacements.

Do not diagnose car problems yourself. Keep in mind that you’re not a professional. A minor issue can spiral into a huge dilemma. Let the professionals do the diagnosing. Give them all the details on what occurred and what you heard, but leave the final diagnosis to them.

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.

Keep detailed records of all the repairs you did on your vehicle and ask the previous owners if they can provide you with their records. If you need to have a mechanic diagnose a problem, show them your records. Your mechanic will recognize recurring issues and know not to waste time on parts that have been replaced recently.

When you purchase certain items at auto parts stores, they will install them for free. Keep this in mind when you go and pick them up. For example, a new set of windshield wipers is around five dollars. An auto parts store will usually install them for you for free, while an auto body shop will charge you around $50.

As you know from the tips in this article, there are things you can do empower yourself when it comes to keeping your car in good running condition. Just because you are not a mechanic yourself does not mean that you must be vulnerable to potential fraud. Speak your mind, be proactive and then trust your automobile to the hands that you choose.