Owning a car gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. However, owning a car also means that you have to keep your vehicle in good working order. By learning some of the basics of auto repair, you can make sure that your car is always running smoothly.
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
Don’t neglect your regular maintenance. These scheduled visits are not there just to get more money from you. They are designed to make sure maintenance is done on specific components before you end up stranded on the side of the road. While you might be able to skip one or two and be okay, the damage will shorten the life of your car.
A spare tire and a jack need to be in your vehicle all of the time. They are usually included when you buy a car. You would hate to be stuck out in the road and be forced to spend money on a tow. You can save a lot of money by performing tasks yourself.
Before you pay the bill for any larger auto repair work, give your car a test drive. You want to make sure that the repairs were done to your satisfaction. If you haven’t paid, it makes it much easier to talk about any lingering issues that may still be around that need further fixing.
You need to keep track of all the repairs and transactions with your garage or dealership. If you decide to file a complaint, you will need to document what happened. Keeping these documents will also help you inform buyers about the repairs you did on the vehicle if you want to sell your car.
Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.
Keep your car manual in your car. In fact, keep the manual and any other documentation your car may have, including details on past repairs, tune-ups and more. The more data points your auto repair shop has to look into an issue, the better chance that they’ll be able to give you a strong idea about what is going on with your car.
Bleed your brakes after there has been work on them. Make sure it is done before you take it on a test drive. Following this, pump the brake fluid. Test to make sure that you don’t have any leaks. Now you can take your car out for a test drive on roads with light traffic. Go slow to make sure the repair is holding before you speed up.
Auto repair does not have to be as mysterious a subject as many mechanics make it sound. Once you understand some of the basics, you can make your own repairs at home without the inconvenience of taking your car into the shop. Use the tips you have just read to keep your car in good condition.