Your vehicle is an important possession and you should take good care of it. You might not have the innate knowledge to work on your own automobile. This article is the place to start.

Only choose an A.S.E. certified mechanic. This certification guarantees that the mechanic has been tested and has more than two years of experience. This means you will have an expert working on your car.

If you are considering working with a new auto repair shop, ask the mechanic if they are experienced in working with your specific vehicle. If yes, then you can trust them with your car.

Your car should be washed regularly so that rust doesn’t become a problem. Eventually cars rust, but it can be delayed by washing off chemicals and salt as soon as you can. Protect your paint with regular waxing.

Thoroughly review your car manual. When you’re trying to get something repaired on your vehicle, you’ll be able to get more assistance if they’re able to read information quickly about your car. The manual may give you information to help you easily fix a problem.

Headlights will sometimes dim over time, but often is just a matter of cleaning them off regularly. Greasy residue from a road can deposit on them sometimes and that dirt can reduce the light they’re putting out. A good quality glass cleaner will help to clean them right up.

Invest in a spare tire and a jack, and keep them in your vehicle. Most of the new cars of today have them in the trunk. You don’t want to end up stranded somewhere and get stuck paying a lot for a tow. You can save a lot by doing it yourself.

Always have a repair kit located in your car; you can put one together yourself. Your car came with equipment needed for changing a tire. Get a lug wrench or a jack. Also, you need Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, a ratchet set, and various types of wrenches. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Buy quality ones that you are sure won’t fail when you really need them.

Your wiper blades should never be forgotten about. You need new windshield wipers if they are making noises or leaving streaks. Blades ought to be replaced annually or even more often than that in rainy regions.

Always shop around and get a second opinion before paying for an expensive repair. Sometimes it’s easy to spot the rates on the wall, but read them carefully. Make sure you get an itemized list of what you’re getting charged. Check to see the estimated times of the repair that you are having done. Some minor repairs might be considered as an all day job by some manufacturers.

Make sure that you remind yourself of how often your oil needs to be changed. The oil should be replaced after so many miles, and it is important that you keep track. When you skip an oil change, your car’s life is shortened.

You do not necessarily have to go through your dealership if repairs are needed. There are great techs everywhere whether there’s a great shop 10 minutes from your house or whether you decide to go to the dealer further away. Trust someone that you’re comfortable with.

Checking your tire pressure can help save you money and wear and tear on tires. Check your tires regularly for embedded items and for uneven wear patterns. If there’s an issue, get it fixed quickly. Do not take a chance by driving on damaged tires.

Take photos of your car ahead of a visit to the garage. While most shops would never strip your vehicle, some do this to increase their income. It is wise to have proof of your car’s condition, should something unfortunate occur.

Before you go to a mechanic, become educated on the classification of standard car parts. Parts are also classified according to their condition: new, salvaged, and reconditioned, rebuilt, and re-manufactured. New means that the parts were made to meet the standard manufacturer specifications by an independent retailer or the dealer themselves. Parts that are listed as “re-manufactured, rebuilt and reconditioned” means that the parts are used but restored to original condition. If a used part is designated as “salvage,” it has not been reconditioned.

Even if you think your vehicle just has a minor issue, it pays to get it looked at just the same. Often times, ignoring small issues lead directly to more serious ones.

It is very important that you take good care of your automobile. Learning even the simplest routine maintenance can help save you a bunch of money. Use these tips and remember them next time your car is doing something strange or you have reason to worry.