When your car breaks down, it is difficult to know what to do. If you are not knowledgeable in the topic of auto repair, then you need to educate yourself on it. This article is a great start, so get reading!
Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.
Consider keeping a high quality battery charger in your car. Dead batteries are a common occurrence and you’d be able to aid other drivers who have broken down. Be sure you know how to correctly connect the charger clamps to your battery and the battery you are charging.
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.
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.
Check your tire pressure regularly. Tires with a low pressure are a very dangerous liability. Check the pressure in your tires at least once a month or anytime you notice a tire seems to be losing air. Invest in new quality tires if you often have to adjust the pressure in your tires.
Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
Read your owner’s manual when you get a new car. It is important to read over the information in your manual and become acquainted with it. After reading this manual, you can perform a lot of repairs yourself.
Always get your timing belt repaired at the proper time, according to your tune-up schedule. A timing belt going out can cause major engine damage, leading to much bigger repairs. Those repairs can run into the thousands of dollars, so don’t ignore that timing belt – you may be sorry if you do!
If your car overheats on the highway, move to the side and turn off your engine as soon as you can. Don’t try checking on any liquids as they can burn you if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Rather, call a tow truck immediately to get you to your auto repair shop.
To feel safe on the road when your car breaks down, look into signing up for AAA. Joining them can help you when you need a deal at a body shop or a tow truck. Also, you can use discounts to save a lot of money through AAA.
For you to diagnose car problems, you need to be able to identify components of your vehicle. If you do not know much about cars, consider taking an auto repair class. The cost is worth it through the money you save on repairs. Knowing the basics of car maintenance can help you pinpoint a problem before it becomes a major problem.
Before you have a mechanic work on your car, get a good estimate of what your bill will be. Understand how much the labor costs will be. This will avoid most surprises. If the repairs will cost significantly more than the estimate, have the mechanic call first to authorize the additional costs.
Don’t get work done if your mechanic gives you problems when asked for a written estimate. If the work is not up to par, it is difficult to have any recourse with nothing in writing to back you up.
Upon visiting a repair shop, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You’re putting your car in the hands of people that you may not know. You should find out everything about what they’re going to do to the car and how much it will cost. The more you know, the less you’ll be surprised when the bill comes.
While it is tempting to use cheaper aftermarket parts on your car, it is best to go with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These are parts designed by the maker of your car. The fit is perfect. For a machine as expertly engineered as a modern automobile, this will extend the life of your car.
No one wants their car to stop working. Without a thorough knowledge of auto-repair, you may want a better idea as to where to turn to get your car fixed. Now you have information you need when it comes to auto repair.