If you don’t know anything about basic car care and maintenance you can end up unnecessarily wasting a lot of money on repair costs. It is important to familiarize yourself with your car and learn more about simple methods you can use to fix small problems. Read these tips to save time and money.
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.
It is important to maintain the level of your brake fluid. The brake fluid compartment is usually close to the engine and should be checked regularly. Make sure the compartment is two third full and add more brake fluid if you need to. There might be a leak in your system if you often need to add more brake fluid.
If any parts of your car need to be replaced, make sure you ask for the (OEM) Original Equipment Manufacturer parts instead of generic parts. Keeping the exact specifications required by the manufacturer is essential in having optimum performance. Although generic parts are cheaper, spending a little more on OEM parts will make a big impact on your car’s longevity.
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.
Basic maintenance like oil changes are actually very easy to do yourself. You only need at ramp, a pan, and a few basic tools. Just be sure to check with your city or county government beforehand to find out where to take your waste oil. It is extremely damaging to the environment, and you could face steep fines for dumping it out.
When you top off your motor oil, avoid spilling oil on your engine by wadding up a couple of paper towels around the oil receptacle on the crank-case. This will absorb drips and spills. Be sure to dispose of your empty oil container and the paper towels responsibly when finished adding oil.
The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.
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.
Consider how well kept an auto repair shop is when making your decisions. A sloppy shop can be a sign that the workmanship you’re about to receive will be pretty sloppy as well. Opt for the auto repair shop that keeps its floors and space clean of tools and rubble. It’s not a guarantee of great workmanship, but it’s a sure sign that your chances are better that you’ll receive the service levels you’d like.
As said previously, learning the fundamentals of auto repair will benefit you later on. In addition to being able to help others and yourself, you will save tons of money. Do not forget the advice here so you can fix your car yourself.