Whether you are a brand new driver or you have been driving for years there is car repair information that you need to know. Car repairs can be costly if you do not have the right car repair information.
Learning more about how to avoid costly car repairs, and what you can do to keep your car in top condition, can help you save now and in the future. A few simple tips and tricks can ensure that you have the right car repair information, and you do not get ripped off.
For the Novice
Getting your first car is an exciting time, but it is also a time when you have some learning to do. Cars need care and regular maintenance. You also need to ensure that you have a trusted mechanic on your side to get the honest car repair information that you need to make informed decisions about your vehicle.
There are some car repairs that are not actually repairs they are more maintenance than repairs, like car brake repair. Parts on your care will wear with time, and will need to be replaced to keep your vehicle running safely.
Here are some parts that you will have to have replaced at regular intervals for the life of your car:
- Brake pads. Brake pads wear out and need to be replaced. Many vehicles are outfitted with an alert system when your pads get down to a certain level. You may notice a chirping noise when you are driving, it is subtle but noticeable. This means you need to have your brakes checked and potentially have the pads replaced.
- Belts and hoses. Eventually, you will need to have your belts and hoses replaced. They are rubber and do wear out. Connecting with a trusted mechanic will put you on a schedule to have these things addressed before they break.
- Windshield wipers will need to be changed periodically. Tires will need to be replaced as well.
As a new driver, you have a lot to learn about car repair information. Many new drivers make the mistake of worrying about the “show” and not paying enough attention to the “go”. What does that mean? It means that before you start considering which car accessories you want to outfit your vehicle with to make it look good (the show), you should be taking care of all the mechanical things that make your car “go”.
In other words, if you have to choose between car dent repair, and replacing something that is a safety issue or can mess with the mechanics of your vehicle, choose the mechanics. How your vehicle looks is far less important than how your vehicle runs.
Ask any experienced mechanic what is the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your vehicle and they will tell you preventive maintenance. Getting regular oil changes, and following the manufacturer’s recommendations for services can be the best way to keep repair costs down.
Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for service is important because they have designed the vehicle to work optimally using those guidelines. An alarming number of people forget to do oil changes, or have their tires rotated. They ignore recommendations for tune-ups, and to have their transmission serviced.
You do not want to be that vehicle owner. Those vehicle owners that forget to arrange for service for their vehicle are the ones that wind up broken down on the side of the road. A preventive maintenance plan is a must for any vehicle owner.
A big chunk of unnecessary automotive repair can be avoided if you simply follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. One of the best pieces of car repair information is to avoid unnecessary repairs through preventive maintenance.
When Things Go Wrong
Unfortunately, a vehicle is a machine, and like all machines, no matter how much you care for it, something can go wrong. What do you do when your car breaks down? If you are going to try to DIY repairs, start with the simplest solution.
There is tons of car repair information online that can point you in the right direction. For example, you try to start your car in the morning, and it will not turn over. First thing you do is check to see if the lights are working, if they are not, your battery is likely dead. Ask someone for a jump to see if that fixes the problem. If it does, drive your vehicle around for a little while to charge the battery. Then take it to your mechanic to check for other problems like a faulty alternator.
In some cases, the fix is simple, in other cases, you will need to get some help. Simple things like locking yourself out of the car (it has happened to all of us) can be rectified by calling the car locksmith. Other things like a loud grinding noise when you start your vehicle up, may wind up with a need for a tow truck to keep from damaging the vehicle further.
Rule number one of car repair information is to not panic. For example, if your keys are stuck in the car and you are stuck outside your car, do not break a window to get in. If you do, you add quite a bit of cost to the problem. Call the locksmith and wait.
Don’t jump the gun. Yes, you need the repairs but know you do not need to pay out the nose to get them. Shopping around a little bit may delay the repairs by a day or two, but it can save you a huge chunk of cash.
Recently reported was a story about a young lady that needed to have some work done. She visited the mechanic closest to her home and was quoted a price of $800 to do the repairs. They tacked on quite a few costs that she felt were not necessary. She went to another mechanic and was quoted a price of $400. As it turns out the first mechanic was inflating the price and going to change out parts that necessarily need to be changed.
What’s the point? Shop for pricing before you make decisions about where to get your repairs done. We will look at how to protect yourself from being swindled by mechanics. There are over 16,000 auto repair shops in the US, you can find the perfect one for your needs that you can trust with just a little effort.
Not Everyone Is Honest
Unfortunately, not every mechanic is honest in how they do business. There have been horror stories about mechanics charging new part prices for used car parts, and mechanics that have grossly overcharged for very simple fixes. You can always buy them on your own for a cheaper price.
While there is nothing wrong with going to a car salvage yard for parts to save money, you do have the right to know if that is what was done. Salvage parts are substantially cheaper than new parts.
How can you avoid the same outcomes? Choose a trusted mechanic with a great reputation. Luckily, incidences of people being ripped off by mechanics have declined over the last few years because of the internet. People often write reviews about their experiences, and car repair information, which can raise a red flag.
Before you choose a mechanic do these things:
- Ask for recommendations. Ask friends, family, and neighbors which mechanic they use and how they like their service.
- Read online reviews. Reviews from people that have used the services before can be very eye-opening. People are usually pretty frank about their experiences.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau. Look for any complaints that were filed against the mechanic.
The more car repair information you can gather about a mechanic the better off you will be. Shop around for the best value. The best value is not always the lowest price. Consider the reputation of the shop, the amount of time it will take for the repairs, and of course, the cost before you make a decision.
Do not be afraid to ask for your old parts back. Yes, they are broken parts, but you can just throw them out. Getting your old parts back assures you that they have been replaced. Ask the shop to put your old parts in the box that the new parts came in. Sounds a bit sneaky? That’s okay it is better to sound a little paranoid and be a little sneaky than it is to get ripped off.
Ask the mechanic to show you what they did. There is no reason a mechanic would not take you into the bay, and point out the parts that they replaced. They may hem and haw about insurance requirements and customers in the bay area, tell them to pull the vehicle out and show you the work they did.
Sometimes you have to be difficult to get the reassurance that everything was done that you are paying for. Once you are satisfied that your mechanic is honest then you will not have to worry about asking to see parts, and digging deeper for car repair information.
Repairs and Your Insurance Company
If you have been in a car accident, your repairs will likely be covered by the insurance company. Hiring personal injury attorneys to help you navigate the situation is always a good idea. Unfortunately, some drivers, think that they can handle the situation on their own, but find out it is not as simple as it seems.
The first thing you should do if your vehicle has been in an accident is call the police, and your car insurance agent, and report the accident. Even if it is a hit and run, or your car was damaged in a parking lot, you still want to report the accident.
You do not want to get stuck with the auto body repair costs after someone has damaged your vehicle. The best way to minimize the out of pocket expense is to contact your insurance agent and report the damage.
Anytime your vehicle has been damaged whether it was while it was moving, or while it was stationary report it. If a tree limb falls on it, report it. If someone “keys” your car in the parking lot report it. You get the idea.
Why should you always report the damage to your vehicle? To reduce your out-of-pocket costs. A little known fact about some car repair information, like bodywork, is there are two different price structures. One price structure is for the insurance companies, and one prices structure is for the person that comes in without an insurance claim.
It can be a good idea to contact a body shop and ask them how much would it be out of pocket to repair something. For example, if you have a $500 deductible on your insurance plan, that means you will have to meet $500 of the cost for a repair before the insurance will cover any costs. What if the repair that you need is only $250 if you pay out of pocket? Then you would tell the insurance company you want to withdraw the claim and take care of it yourself.
You do want to report any damages, but you do not necessarily want to follow through with the claim because too many claims will drive up the cost of your insurance. Of course, when the damages exceed a threshold like $1000 you should let the insurance handle things.
Save Money With This Car Repair Information
You can save money on your car repairs by looking for savings. A lot of mechanics will run specials for things like oil changes, tune-ups, even brake specials. You can take advantage of these savings even if it means having your brakes changed a little earlier than you need to or replacing your tires before they are completely out of threads.
Other ways to save include asking about discounts offered to special groups. For example, many mechanics offer discounts for military affiliation, first responders, and school teachers. Some mechanics will offer savings options for other groups like members of civic clubs or members of Triple A.
Consider joining AAA. The membership costs are relatively low, and there can be some great savings involved. AAA also offers things like free jumpstarts and will come and change your tire. Every new driver should consider being a member.
Do your research about car repair information to gather as much information as you can to ensure that you are not getting ripped off and you have at least some basic knowledge about how your vehicle works.