Wear and tear on your car can quickly become an expensive disaster if you aren’t sure how to do simple maintenance. In the case that you have to fix something, doing it yourself can save money. Read this tips in this article so you can learn simple and useful auto repair.

Pay attention to the gauges and trouble lights on your cars dash. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a car that is overheating, low on oil or not charging the battery. Knowing which of these indicators need immediate attention can prevent damage to your car and save you cash in the long run.

When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.

Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.

Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. Good mechanics will inform you if parts need replacing or will need replacing in the near future; however, they should not actually take the extra step and replace parts without your knowledge and approval. Never bring your car to someone who doesn’t do the right kinds of repairs.

In addition to basic tire changing equipment, keep a plastic tote filled with DIY auto repair supplies in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies. Fill it with at least a quart each of motor oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, and brake fluid and a gallon of water. Add a can of penetrating oil spray, a roll of duct tape, twine, bungee cords and basic tools so that you can manage minor repairs on the road.

It is a good idea to add an injector cleaner to the fuel you put into your gas tank regularly. You will get better gas mileage if the fuel injectors in your cars engine are kept clean. Adding enough cleaner to treat a full tank once a month is usually enough to improve your mileage a little.

Do your research prior to choosing any auto repair company. Don’t trust solely the company’s website. Look to auto forums and be wary of any complaints you may see. Also take into consideration any rave reviews the auto shop receives. These are typically objective reviews, so you can trust them more than what the shop’s materials may say.

Go to a repair shop you are considering for the long haul with a smaller job first. It can be something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation. This will give you at least a better hint of their capabilities, workmanship and friendliness before a bigger issue occurs.

If you are paying to have new parts installed in your car, ask the mechanic if you can see them. There is no reason why he should refuse to let you see what you have paid for. If you have any indication that the items are not new, tell the mechanic that you will be getting the work done elsewhere.

You do not need to purchase a new filter every time you go in to have an oil change. The auto repair person may show you a worn filter next to a new one and claim it is yours, but be firm and let them know that you do not need a new one right now.

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.

Before you make an appointment to take your car to the mechanic, take a moment to look through your cars owner’s manual. You may find that the problem you are experiencing is the result of failing to understand how your car’s controls function rather than a malfunction requiring costly repairs.

Remember that where you live can have an impact on when you need to take your vehicle in for service. For example, if you only travel a short distance to work, your exhaust system may have issues as a result. If you live somewhere very hot, in contrast, you may need to look closely at your engine oil. A “one size fits all” service schedule doesn’t work for everyone.

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 are looking to extend your car’s life, do not accelerate too quickly immediately after starting it up. Especially in cold weather, racing the engine of your car will result in it deteriorating more quickly and contributing to accelerated wear and tear. Rather, accelerate slowly when you begin to drive.

As stated in the beginning of this article, it can quickly add up if you keep having to take your car into the shop. Learning some simple tricks for maintenance will save you a headache later. Remember these tips so you can use auto repair to the best of your ability.

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