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 you have a hard time starting your car? Your battery probably needs to be recharged or replaced. You need to check the state of charge of your battery. You can use a hydrometer or a voltmeter depending on the type of battery you have. If you have been regularly recharging your battery, it might be time for a new one.
Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.
Regularly check your radiator’s performance. To do this, you need to allow your car to run several minutes, and then turn off the engine. You are now ready to open up your hood. You should never open the radiator of a car that is running. Use a dipstick to check the fluid levels, and always add the correct amount of water to your coolant before adding it to your tank.
Don’t pay money for air. Familiarize yourself with the correct air pressure of your car tires and invest in an air compressor. Check your tires on a regular basis and keep them properly inflated on your own. Being able to do this yourself on a regular basis will save you money in terms of wear and tear and regular maintenance.
Take advantage of free inspections, but don’t just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren’t strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.
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.
Communicate with your mechanic as much as possible. Explain the issues you have been encountering with your car and do not hesitate to ask questions to your mechanic if you do not fully understand the repairs that are needed. Ask about prices and do not let your mechanic fix your car until you fully understand charges.
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.
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.