No matter a driver’s age or experience, a car breakdown or malfunction is a daily fear. You may think that your car is in good enough condition, but a recent survey found that approximately 77% of cars were in need of maintenance or repairs. In order to not face this nightmare, you should be familiar with the ins and outs of car care.
Dos of Car Repair
- Find a repair shop you know and trust. There is approximately 87,032 auto repair shops in the United States. To narrow down this overwhelming selection, talk to family and friends to find out if they have a favorite mechanic or shop and do a little research on the shop to make sure it is the one for you. When you find a shop for your vehicle, look for certificates or awards around the shop’s interior to verify that they know what they are doing.
- Pay attention to your owner’s manual. While the average American gets their oil changed every 3,000 miles, the specific manual for your car will state the recommended amount that works best for your make and model. Many vehicles also have alert systems for when when you need to get it changed. The manual will also recommend which type of oil to use for your car, ensuring that you don’t overspend on potentially unnecessary synthetic oil.
- Inspect your tires often. Having tires with good tract can mean the difference between breaking successfully for a sudden stop and sliding off the road and into a tree. Every month or so you should take a look at the tread of your tires to ensure that they are not too worn down. If you are unsure as to when you should have them replaced, consult your owner’s manual again. It will include a recommendation for tire changes. When you do get rid of the old and replace them with the new, cut down on the nearly 250 million tires that are discarded each year by looking into tire recycling programs.
Don’ts of Car Repair
- Don’t neglect the maintenance of your vehicle. A car’s parts all work together to form one functioning vehicle, so turning a blind eye to seemingly small issues can affect your entire automobile. Simple tasks such as changing the oil and being aware of the coolant levels can make a big difference in the quality upkeep of your car.
- Don’t ignore unusual stains, smells, or sounds. While the occasional drip or a small, clear puddle of water under your car is nothing too unusual, larger puddles of colored liquid could mean trouble. Strange smells, like rotten eggs or burnt toast, may also indicate that a serious problem has happened within the innards of your vehicle and you may need to get it towed to your car repair shop. Any clunks or rumbles may simply mean that a part of the car is loose, but it is better to have it checked out sooner rather than later.
- Don’t enter your first repair charge unaware of pricing. When you first start a relationship with your repair shop, ask if they have a flat rate for repairs or if they charge by the hour for labor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about potential diagnostic charges and how to get a written estimate before they start repairs. By going into a repair situation with these numbers under your belt, you won’t be surprised by additional charges.
Whether it is your first car or you tenth car, a used car or a new car, you will need a car repair shop. You will want a shop where you feel comfortable and where your concerns are heard rather than a shop that is looking for how to get the most money out of your pocket. You rely on your car to get you where you need in life, so go to a shop that has your safety as a priority.