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TIP! Ensure the mechanic you use has an ASE certification before allowing them to operate on your vehicle. Mechanics can obtain the ASE certification by taking a test and having more than two years of experience.

Sitting idly by when your car needs repair is never a good idea. If you’re going to be shelling out a lot of money to have your car repaired, there are some basic things you need to know. The following information will help you when it comes time to fix your car.

TIP! Keeping a battery charger in your car is a good safety investment. The problem of a low or dead battery is very common, and if you keep a charger in your car you can assist other drivers with the problem.

Always keep and eye on the radiator to make sure that it is full. Let the car run a while, shut off the engine and then pop the hood. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Check the fluid in your radiator and always mix water with the coolant before adding it.

TIP! Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. Include a spare tire, a jack, a battery charger and a container full of gas.

Before you actually take your car to a mechanic, try to assess what the problem is first. If you know what the problem is, you can save money and also easily identify any repair shop that is trying to scam you. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.

TIP! Make sure that you have car records on file. Keeping them in the glove compartment is smart.

Ensure that your mechanic is familiar with your vehicle’s make. There are many similarities between vehicles but some issues are specific to certain makes and models. It may be worth the extra cost to have a specialized dealer fix a major problem with your car.

TIP! Be sure headlights are clean if they’re not shining as bright as they once did. Different substances from the road will accumulate on the glass of the headlights.

Make sure you have both a spare tire and a jack in your trunk. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You will have to spend a lot to get your car towed if you cannot change the tire right away. It will be quicker and less costly when you do it yourself.

TIP! Check to see that your technician knows what he is doing. If you’re receiving double-talk when you ask them a question, they are probably not the mechanic for you.

See if you can find someone who is knowledgeable about cars to do the work for you. If they possess sufficient experience, they can typically do jobs for far less cost. You could save a lot of money this way.

TIP! Never go with the first estimate you receive. Most shops are reliable but some mechanics will find additional repairs to charge you more.

Before going with a particular shop, get auto repair feedback from your friends. You may get a few recommendations from your friends and family that make your search easier. You’ll still need to do some investigating. Online reviews can give you a quick overview of anyone that you have in mind.

TIP! You may be able to replace the lights on your car yourself. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it.

When you take your car in for repair, verify their hourly rate and total cost of repair before you hand over your keys. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately. You have to figure out what you’re going to get billed with and how to pay. Some stores are able to give you an estimate for how long they’ll keep your car. Some minor repairs might be considered as an all day job by some manufacturers.

TIP! Do not forget about your windshield wiper blades. You may need new blades if they are streaking or making noises.

Washing your car during the winter is important to keep road salt and sand from doing corrosive damage While it probably doesn’t seem like there’s a point, winter time can be damaging to your vehicle. Salt and sand lead to rust and abrasions. Best be sure to dry your car before driving so that you won’t let any ice form on your car.

TIP! Check around for a reputable mechanic by asking friends who are happy with their mechanic. If they’re experienced then they probably can do quality work and they don’t charge a lot either.

You don’t need to visit a car dealer in order to get your car fixed. There are great technicians everywhere, whether you take your car to the shop ten minutes from your home or whether you go on in to your dealer. Consider using one if they appear to be good.

TIP! Ask about labor rates and prices before giving the keys to a shop. If you have questions on the service, pose them immediately.

Warranties are extremely important when it comes to auto repairs, particularly if you’ve purchased expensive parts. Therefore, when a mechanic orders parts for your vehicle, you should ask him or her about their warranties. Learn the length of time of the warranties, and ask your mechanic to print out a copy of the contract for you to look over it.

TIP! You do not necessarily have to go through your dealership if repairs are needed. Great mechanics are everywhere, regardless of whether you visit a local mechanic or drive out of town to visit your dealer.

Some unscrupulous auto shop will replace your tires with older ones and sell your tires. They are attempting to make money this way. Take a piece of chalk and mark the tires prior to dropping off your vehicle. If the marks are gone when you get your vehicle back, you have probably been swindled.

TIP! Know about car parts prior to visiting a mechanic. Parts are classified as new, re-manufactured, rebuilt, and reconditioned, and salvage.

Consistency is key when it comes to vehicle repairs and maintenance. Find one shop that you like and stick with them. Each shop may provide a different answer to your problem. The amount that they charge can be different and may cost you more.

TIP! There is nothing routine about flushing your engine. Flushing an engine can be expensive and is only needed in cases where the engine is in bad shape.

Be sure that you get a written estimate whenever your repairs will be over a couple hundred dollars. You may want to file a formal complaint, and the written quote can be proof. You will also avoid extra charges when you have a written quote.

TIP! Few people take the time to go over the manual that comes with their vehicle. There is a lot of information in this book that can help you.

When you take your car in for repairs, you should place a monetary limit on how much work may be done. When dropping off you car for needed repairs, do not give the shop carte blanche for these repairs. Ask your mechanic to give you a phone call if he finds more problems that need to be fixed.

TIP! Only use a garage which has manufacturer authorization. If you take this measure, you’ll save a lot of money, as many of the repairs are covered under your warranty.

If a mechanic will not give you an estimate in writing, look elsewhere. If the work is done poorly, you won’t be able to recover costs because there is no written proof of the contracted work.

TIP! Do not think that you just have to get a tune up after 100,000 miles. This is a rule of thumb that actually depends on the make and model of your car.

Your friends or family may know of a great mechanic that they can recommend. This is really a great way to locate a reputable mechanic because you have some first hand referrals from people you trust. This is better than randomly risking your vehicle with mechanics who have no recommendations from trusted individuals.

TIP! Whenever you become aware of which components need fixing, you can utilize the Internet to compare prices and search for parts. There are many website that will give you a good estimate as to how much your repairs should cost.

Do not place water inside of your car’s windshield cleaning compartment. Water can clean your windshield, but since the system requires that specific fluid, you could damage it. Make sure there is plenty of fluid in the compartment. Do not delay when the reservoir appears to be empty.

TIP! Take your vehicle to a mechanic or the dealership as soon as your service or check engine light turns on. There may be no obvious issues, but it’s still smart to have a pro take a close look.

Find shops that have authorization from your manufacturer to repair your car. Doing this means many of the issues will be covered since they’re under warranty. Your warranty could be voided if you visit a dealer that is not covered by it.

TIP! Always look at the amperage before taking out a fuse that has burned out. You need to remember to get fuses replaced with ones that have the exact same amperage.

With the information you have learned, you will know what to do if your car needs some type of repair The information in this article should have put your mind at ease. Use this advice the next time that you experience car problems.