How to find a good garage - Which?
To keep your car roadworthy and your bills in check, read our Which? tips to finding a good, trustworthy garage that'll charge you a fair price. How to find a good garage - Which?
When taking your car to the mechanic's, you should not leave before having a complete diagnosis of what needs to be fixed. If the mechanic refuses to look at the car right away or does not want to give you a quote for the issues he diagnosed, find someone else.
When it comes to auto repair, cheaper is not always a good thing. You want someone who is knowledgeable about your make and model of car to be working on it. While you might get by having a friend do your oil change in exchange for dinner, anything more complicated is better left to a professional. You don't want to have to pay extra later to fix those "repairs".
If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified.
To save a trip to the auto repair shop, you should take a look at your owner's manual. Here, you may find hints or perhaps answers to questions you may have about your vehicle. It can be quite helpful to know the size of your engine or its configuration, which is usually found in the manual.
Make sure to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true.
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.
Make sure your auto technician is qualified to work on your specific car. Motor vehicles are complex machines and each brand has unique characteristics. Some brands require special tools, parts, and procedures. Many standard auto technicians either lack these items or don;t have them easily available. Without these items, they can't fix your vehicle.
Keep an eye open for a shop that takes off your good tires and puts older ones on. They sell your tires and make a profit off your ignorance. Marking your tires with chalk before taking the tires to be rotated is a good idea. When you pick up the vehicle, make sure that the chalk is still present, otherwise you have been scammed.
Never underestimate Walmart when it comes to having certain services done on your car. You can get an oil change there for quite a bit less than you will pay for one at an auto shop. look at these guys sell tires that are priced much better than those at most tire shops.
You need to learn more about different car parts before taking your vehicle to a repair shop. 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. Rebuilt or reconditioned parts are basically ones that have been restored and now are working well. If a used part is designated as "salvage," it has not been reconditioned.
Never underestimate Walmart when it comes to having certain services done on your car. You can get an oil change there for quite a bit less than you will pay for one at an auto shop. They also sell tires that are priced much better than those at most tire shops.
If you are repairing your vehicle at home you must be sure to put everything that you take off of the vehicle in one safe place. One of the biggest problems that people run into is they lose a part from their car and can not put everything back together. Do not let this happen to you.
If you need to find a good mechanic, ask them how much experience they have with the brand and make of your vehicle. Driving a popular and affordable vehicle will make your job easier. It might be best to find a dealership if you do not drive a popular brand.
Try working with a mechanic that charges you for the parts and labor only. Often people find mechanics that charge by the hour, and they are surprised once they get the bill. Many times they claim the work took longer than it did, and they charge you a ton of extra money.
While it is tempting to use cheaper aftermarket parts on your car, it is best to go with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These are parts designed by the maker of your car. The fit is perfect. For a machine as expertly engineered as a modern automobile, this will extend the life of your car.
When your auto repair technician recommends a standard service like a radiator flush, be sure to ask why it is necessary. Find out if go here will have problems if it is not done immediately. Once satisfied that the service needs to be done now, be sure to find out exactly how much you will pay. Knowing the cost of parts and labor and getting a firm estimate in advance will save you from unpleasant surprises.
Check your repair bill as soon as you get it. Look over to see that the agreed upon repairs were completed and that nothing unauthorized was tacked on. If you have any issues, bring them up immediately. As soon as you pay the bill, you have tacitly agreed the work was satisfactory. That makes it harder to balk later.
Listen to all of the sounds made by your vehicle. Noise can be a crucial sign that your vehicle is having a problem. Tell your mechanic what sound you hear and he may be able to figure out the problem more quickly.
The tips included here should help you prepare for just about any car issue you can imagine. You may not be a car expert, but you should learn how to make smaller repairs. Also, if you run into larger problems, you should know how to find the right mechanic for the job.