If you drive regularly, you need to know the basics of auto repair. There are many people who don’t have such information. This article is filled with tips that will help you take good care of your vehicle over the years.

Be sure and regularly check your radiator. Allow your car to run for a bit and then turn it off and pop open the hood. You should never open your radiator whenever your car is turned on. Use a dipstick to check the fluid level in your radiator and mix some coolant with water if you need to add more fluid.

Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If you do not understand something, have it cleared up with the mechanic before he or she makes the repairs. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected charges after the repairs are done.

Educate yourself on your car’s manual and bookmark important pages. This can help prevent a trip to the auto shop if you can fix the issue yourself. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.

Keep a record of every car repair. When another issue crops up, this record will allow you to provide the history to the mechanic. These records will make identifying issues much easier to diagnose and will save you time and money.

Before paying for repairs done on your car, test drive it to make sure it runs well. If you don’t, you may still experience the same problem with the car once you get it home.

Be mindful whether additional repairs recommended are really necessary. All reputable mechanics will notify you before doing any repairs and will inform you of any parts that could require repairs in the immediate future. If an auto technician performs unnecessary repairs or repairs that were not agreed upon beforehand, don’t return to them for further services.

Consider using OEM parts. These parts are issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Generic parts may be cheaper, but the quality may not be the same as OEM parts. What saves you a bit of money in the short term, may end up costing you dearly in the long term.

When visiting a repair shop, be mindful of warning signs that the shop is not a good one. If they avoid your questions, you may want to look elsewhere. If your gut feeling is that you don’t quite trust your mechanic, keep looking for one who inspires confidence in you and helps you understand the problems with your car.

Always think of how to fix your car’s problems yourself before trying to get it repaired. You can save time and money if the problem is correctly diagnosed, and finding a reliable mechanic will also be easier. Experience shows that mechanics sometimes falsely claim a problem exists and do an unnecessary repair, to increase their earnings.

Know what the lights on your dash represent. They are there to help you, so take advantage of that. Ignoring them for extended periods of time will only make the problem much worse than it already is.

Keep an eye open for a shop that takes off your good tires and puts older ones on. It is a scam that is used to make more money off of uneducated people. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. This can help you see if your tires have been properly rotated or switched out for older tires.

If you cannot afford to get your vehicle fixed, get in touch with local vocational schools that train mechanics. There your car will be worked on by students learning their craft. They are inexperienced, of course, but they will be under the watchful eye of a trained, experienced mechanic.

When you find a mechanic you like, stick with them for all of your auto repairs. Once you find a garage you like, stay with it. Different mechanics may have different opinions on issues. They could also charge you more; don’t let this happen.

The dealer’s mechanics are expensive but worth it. The people who work there are trained to work on your brand. It’s easy for them to diagnose and repair any problems your car may have. They also undergo regular training programs.

Don’t get work done if your mechanic gives you problems when asked for a written estimate. If he doesn’t make the repairs properly, you may not be able to receive compensation, since you don’t have proof of a contract in writing.

Ask to have your old parts given back to you. This is a good way to ensure the repairs have indeed been performed. With some repairs, like replacement of an exhaust system, this is not necessary. You should be able to tell if they have installed a brand new exhaust system.

Warning Lights

Modern automobile are equipped with both sensors and warning lights to inform you of problems with your vehicle. You should not rely only on your warning lights. A bulb may burn out, or a sensor might malfunction, so you should also check your car manually for problems too.

Prior to having major repairs done, secure another opinion. The mechanic might find this somewhat offensive or try to snag you with a great on-the-spot deal, but be suspicious of this. If the repair is needed, then he will have no problem with another mechanic who will confirm his diagnosis.

Your financial responsibilities are only just beginning when you purchase a car. Sadly, people don’t understand how to keep their car in great shape. Go over the ideas that you just read again from time to time so you can be sure you’re able to fix anything that could go wrong later on.