Your car is probably one of your most important possessions, since you depend on it to get you to and from work (among other places). Perhaps you are not very knowledgeable in the automotive field. If that is the case, continue reading to learn simple maintenance tips.
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.
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.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
Look for an auto repair shop that displays their certifications for everyone to see. Get a good look at it to make sure that they are current. Even if they are certified, that does not guarantee quality work, but there is a greater chance of the work getting done correctly.
When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Always exercise the highest level of caution when working with your car’s fuel system. Never work around fuel tanks, fuel lines or pumps with sources of ignition such as cigarettes or anything that could produce a spark. Wipe up any fuel spills immediately, and protect yourself by wearing fuel-resistant gloves and eyewear.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a few DIY repairs that almost anyone can do. For example, changing the windshield wiper blades is really just a matter of snapping off one set and snapping on another. Look in your user’s manual or use a measuring tape to determine what size you need. Don’t be dismayed if the store where you purchase your windshield wiper blades only has one in the right size. You can use one that is an inch shorter on the passenger side of your windshield without causing any problems.
Unless it is required by your car’s warranty, don’t feel obligated to use the repair shop at the dealership. There are many reputable independent auto repair shops and they are often cheaper. Ask your friends and family members for a recommendation if you are unsure which shops in your area are trustworthy.
Make sure that the auto repair shop you go to offers a warranty on their services. There are plenty of repair shops that will do a shoddy job, and there is nothing you can do about that if you have no warranty. A warranty will give you the opportunity to get the problem fixed for no charge.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle when you bring it to be repaired. It is true that most shops have very trust worthy employees, but not all do, and you do not want to be a victim of theft. Instead, protect yourself by cleaning your vehicle and removing anything that is not attached to the car.
As previously stated, taking proper care of a car is crucial. Understanding basic maintenance is a great first step. Implement what you have just read the next time you need your car repaired.