Having your own car gives you a sense of freedom. Whatever you want to do, you can get there with ease. The flip side of this coin, is the possibility of unexpected breakdowns and inconvenience. These tips should help you get back on the road in the least amount of time.
Ensure you regularly inspect your radiator. Warm up your car a little, shut if back off and pop the hood. Do not lift the radiator lid when the engine is running or if it is too hot. Check the radiator fluids using a dipstick and remember to always mix the coolant with water before putting it in the radiator.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don’t want to have to pay extra later to fix those “repairs”.
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.
Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend. No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.
You should keep your car’s records in a handy location. Keep these records in the glove compartment in the event that you need to make an emergency stop at your mechanic’s shop. Auto repair mechanics and professionals will need the records. This can make the process go more smoothly.
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.
Just like at the doctor, you can get a second opinion before agreeing to costly repairs. A reputable shop should not be padding the bill, but it does not hurt to see what another professional thinks about the situation. If you are still nervous, the dealer is always an option. It will be more expensive, but they tend to someone checking over their shoulder more often.
If your car isn’t running, it may not be necessary to spend a fortune to have it fixed. Most of the time, you should be able to repair your car yourself. Use what you’ve learned here going forward, and you should do just fine.