It can be intimidating to figure out what is wrong with your vehicle, which is why it is usually advisable to seek the help of a qualified and trained mechanic. However, choosing the best one for your specific needs can be challenging. Do not despair, as there are things you can do to make a wise decision.
If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.
If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.
Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.
Before having repairs, see if you can diagnose the problem. You can save a ton of cash via diagnosing the issue yourself, and you could prevent fraud. As you’ve probably heard, there are some mechanics that like to lie about issues to make some more money.
A dent or scratch in a plastic bumper is very easy to fix. Start by cutting the bits that stick out from the dent until the edges are smooth. You can then use a filler to make the dent disappear. Sand over the area and paint to hide the repair.
Be sure to verify that the shop that you is properly licensed. If they are not, there is probably a reason for it, which could range from fraud to faulty repairs. Never use a shop that does not hold all of the licenses that they should in order to operate as a business.
Keep detailed records of all the repairs you did on your vehicle and ask the previous owners if they can provide you with their records. If you need to have a mechanic diagnose a problem, show them your records. Your mechanic will recognize recurring issues and know not to waste time on parts that have been replaced recently.
When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.
Don’t ignore a “Check Engine” light. Many people think it’s ok since they continue to run their car with no obvious issues. But a check engine light would have never appeared unless some internal check failed. It’s best to get it looked into immediately, or you run the risk of a larger problem down the road.
If you have to drop your car off at a garage or dealership, instruct the mechanics that you wish to be called with an estimate before they do any work on your car. Do not let a mechanic convince you to pay for expensive repairs because the vehicle is already partly dismantled.
A dealer’s mechanic is an expensive option, but it is sometimes necessary to go through your dealership. Service technicians at dealerships tend to specialize in your make and model. In addition, they will better know what can go wrong and thus fix it quicker. There are many training programs that they have to pass to become certified.
As you understand more fully now, you do not need to be afraid of handing over the keys to your car to a good mechanic. They are trained to trouble-shoot problems and offer solutions. Find the mechanic that you trust, then let him do his job in a professional manner.