Tips & Advice
Anyone who has ever owned a vehicle knows about the expenses and problems that can occur as time goes by. As an owner, one of the first things you should do is find a reputable repair shop to help you out in times of need. and it can make you start to feel crazy. Here are a few tips and some advice on how to go about this process:
- First, remember that you may not need to contact a mechanic every time your car is having a problem. Some repairs are easy can be done by you. If possible, take care of minor repairs yourself...the monetary savings can be substantial.
- Ask for referrals when looking for a mechanic. Talk to family members, friends and co-workers to find out who they recommend. People will generally let you know what kind of experiences they've had with local repair shops, contractors and services.
- Ask the mechanic if they have experience working on the type of vehicle you own. If not...you might be wise to take your problems to another shop.
- READ your owner’s manual...and make sure to take note of important information. It can often help you diagnose simple problems and is also a vital guide for preventative maintenance and other regular service.
- Make sure to keep all your car records in one central file. You may even want to store them in the vehicle's glove compartment. A mechanic who works on your car may want to view these records.
- Look up online reviews for the auto repair shops in your area. Try to find locations that have more than just a couple of reviews so that you can get a balanced opinion of the business. Even a reputable shop can get a bad review if they're in business long enough, and don't forget, nobody's perfect.
- A spare tire and a jack are valuable--if not essential--items to keep in case of an emergency. Most newer vehicles are already equipped with them. Don’t get stuck on the side of the road and be forced to call for help or pay to have your vehicle towed. The cost for roadside assistance...even for something as simple as a tire change...can be considerable.
- Look at all guages and lights on your dashboard and find out what they mean. They're meant to let you know if the vehicle is running smoothly and alert you if problems begin to develop. Ignoring them will only lead to greater problems down the road.
- Headlights will seemingly dim over time....but often it's simply a matter of too much dirt accumulating on the lens. A simple cleaning can breath new life into your headlights and improve safety by increasing your visibility at night.