All posts tagged auto repair

5 Tips to Maintaining Your Own Vehicle without Having to Pay a Mechanic

maintain auto

Mechanics are vital, but you do not want to pay them to service your car for every little thing. Going to a professional can take a big bite out of your wallet if you need one often. The following are five tips to help you maintain your car without a mechanic.

Change the Filters

There are a few filters in your car like the air filter or the fuel filter. Each filter needs to be replaced to ensure that debris does not get into your engine. The debris can end up hurting your car in the long run, so learning how to do this task is a good idea.

Change the Liquids

The antifreeze, oil, brake oil, and transmission oil need to be replaced from time to time. Learning how to do this on your own should definitely make it easier for you to maintain your car. These liquids are meant to help extend the life of your car so do not ignore them.

Careful Driving

The way you drive could also affect the overall health of your vehicle. Riding your brakes could damage tires and brakes prematurely. It also puts additional stress on your engine that it does not need. Driving over bumpy roads can hurt your axles and your suspension gave enough time, which makes mindful driving important.

Inspection Matters

One of the most important parts of your car is the battery. You want to make sure you do not try to charge too many electronics in your car or leave your lights on accidentally to prevent the batteries from going out. Still, the most important thing to do is to simply have the battery inspected regularly by professionals.

Check the Tires

Underinflated and overinflated tires can spell trouble for car owners. Tires that are overinflated could cause blowouts while underinflated tires can sometimes make your car harder to control. You want to periodically make sure your tire pressure is always right. You should also learn how to check your tire wear because balding tires can be dangerous.

Hopefully, some of these tips help keep your car in good condition longer so that you do not have to go your mechanic often. Of course, you are still going to see him or her at some point, but at least you’ll be saving some money now.

4 Cheap Ways to Get Your Car Looking Good before You Sell

auto sale

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling an old or newer car. A vehicle’s overall appearance is often the deciding factor in many buyers’ minds. As a result, it’s critical that you make your car look its best unless you’re selling it for parts. It isn’t impossible to a budget when trying to get a car in better shape before a sale. The steps in this guide can show you how:

Use Repair Kits

Dents, rust, chips and scratches often cause buyers to walk away. Most car owners can repair mild damage with easy-to-use auto body repair kits. A professional dent repair kit, for example, contains a dent puller tool that makes it possible for you to pull almost any mild-to-moderate dent until the surface pops back into its original position. Rust and scratch repair kits offer sanding and other tools designed to rub away existing damage and repair and hide marred spots. Look for kits that offer high quality automotive putty for fiberglass and metal and automotive color-match paints.

Buy Used Parts

For more extensive damage, such as panels and fenders with deep dents, rust that’s rotting through an entire section or cracked windshield or window glass, replace the parts. You can find used parts in many ways, but try the following two methods first: Post “ISO” or “In Search Of” advertisements on classified ad sites like Craigslist and in local yard sale and free trade groups on social networks like Facebook. Include the make and model of your vehicle and part descriptions. Also try to find cheap parts in local junk yards that store old and wrecked vehicles that still have many good- and excellent-condition parts.

Buy New Parts

Most vehicle owners must also buy some new parts related to the appearance of their cars. These are the types of parts that aren’t usually available previously-used condition at all or in at least an undamaged state. For example, replace brittle wiper blades or rusty wiper assemblies, cracked or dulled tail light covers and dirty interior mats. Most parts retailers offer deals and discounts, such as discounts for shopping online and a percentage off the total purchase for loyal customers. For tail light covers, pick a trusted parts dealer who sells high-impact acrylic tail light covers in clear and colored options at affordable prices.

Clean the Headlights

Although it might seem like common sense, vehicle owners often forget to deep clean the headlights. As with tail light cover cracks and dullness, small dings from rocks, natural plastic yellowing and dullness and other marks on headlights can make your car look older and worth less. Although you can find several retail auto headlight cleaning options that make it effortless to sand out dings and remove an ultra-thin layer of damaged plastic to give headlights new life, do-it-yourself methods can also do wonders at little cost. For example, rub the headlights with white, non-gel toothpaste and a damp melamine foam eraser until each headlight appears clearer. Rinse with a damp sponge and then use car wax polishing paste to remove any fine marks and make your car’s headlights gleam.

Sometimes professional work by a mechanic or auto body specialist can cost less than some do-it-yourself options, such as with multi-panel and hood replacement or re-painting the entire vehicle. Before you do certain D-I-Y tasks that require extensive labor, always compare the cost of parts and the estimated amount of time you think it will take to complete the work to the cost of parts and a professional’s estimate. Some automobile repair specialists offer low-price deals when you purchase parts through them in addition to repair services. No matter what you decide to do, following these four budget-friendly methods can typically make your car look its best without breaking the bank.

How to Ensure That Your Car Gets a Repair Within Your Budget

budget auto repair

A problem many car and vehicle owners face when they take their vehicle for a repair to a garage is that, the estimate given to them does not match with the final bill they get. Increment in the bill amount is common in most cases, and, the main reasons will be extra repairs or change of spare parts which were not considered before the work.

This again, when looked critically happens because the examining auto mechanic does a lame job in many cases, and does not check all car parts. One more reason this happens is because when the auto mechanic reviews that the repairs and services would cost too much to scare off the customer, they quote a lower affordable amount too.

Whatever the way it is, the problem ultimately comes as a burden on the shoulders of the vehicle owner only. If you pay, you get the vehicle back. If you don’t, the vehicle is with the garage till you clear the bills, or the dispute by a scuffle, argument, lawsuit etc. For these reasons, when you are taking your car to a garage, always make sure that their record is good in giving the exact quotes. Else you may soon feel a hole getting drilled in your pocket, and this may actually pose a problem for you.

How to Prepare for Taking Your Vehicle for Auto Repairs

It’s simple to find a way. You just have to ask the garage that they give you the right estimate, or else you may not be the returning customer. While you say this to a garage owner, also inquire about their customer feedback and ratings from reliable website and business checking sites.

Check if they have loads of complaints registered against them, or just a few minimal numbers which any garage may get sometime. When you tell them that you won’t be returning in case you are billed excess, they will get the signal from you clearly in the beginning itself, that you are a concerned customer, and not just any random one.

Tell the mechanic, and give clear instructions that any change in your vehicle must be reported to you on due time. If they believe a part needs change or repair, or some extra job needs to be done, then they must tell you prior to doing anything with exact amount quote for that. This will establish a relation of trust between you and the garage, thereby preparing you and giving you a choice. You will know if an excess bill is coming up, or else you won’t get that job done at all.

Always Check the Auto Repairing Workshop for Compatibility

A car of a particular brand gets serviced and repaired best when it is taken to a compatible workshop. Some garages have specialty to repair cars of multiple brands, while others specifically mention which brands they are specialized to handle. Therefore, if you feel that our car’s brand name is not mentioned, do talk to the mechanic before handing over the car.

You would soon understand the importance of this, when you would be told that a certain part needs change, and then you start worrying if they would be using a genuine auto part or just a compatible one. This is a big concern for vehicle owners, and if you want to avoid this get things clarified beforehand.

Finding a good auto repairs place is not a problem when you have the internet at your disposition. You can check and search for services near you, anytime, and find ones which are rated genuinely. The final impression depends on how well the first service from them goes.

Top 8 Things to Know Before You Hire an Auto Mechanic

Auto mechanic is that one person who can provide you a peaceful driving experience at an affordable cost. There are some roadside auto mechanical shops available, that provide you cheap car services, and they always try to force you to install the duplicate spare parts in your car.

However, if you rely on them and avail their services then you need to spend a huge cost later your car servicing. These mechanics are not professional and they are not certified in this field. They will damage your car and break the insurance rules. In this regards you need to check few criteria before hiring an auto mechanic.

 8 things to know about an auto mechanic:

  1. Certification:
    When you hire the auto mechanics, you need to check their certification. They must be certified by some reputed automobile schools and they should have the valid license for this work. You can also check their license validation from the authority website and then you need to ask them about their experience.
  2. Experience:
    Experience plays a vital role for the automobile industry because more than the academic and theoretical expertise, experience and practical knowledge are necessary to identify the car’s problems to provide possible solutions. Therefore, in this regards, you need to check their experience and you can also check their customer feedback from their website or other genuine references.
  3. Recommendations:
    Finding a perfect and professional auto mechanic is not an easy task and in this aspect, you can contact with your friends and family members. Those who have their own car can help you and they can provide you the contact details of some reputed automobile service center.
  4. Estimate:
    It is suggested to ask to the auto mechanic for a written estimate for the repairing and servicing of your car. Most mechanics provide the written estimate free of cost, and they charge you the accurate amount as per their given estimate most of the times. However, if your mechanic does not provide you the written estimate, then height hike the price after or during servicing and it is recommended to avoid these types of fake mechanics.
  5. Insurance and guidelines:
    Professional mechanics always describe the problems and explain the reason behind the problems to you. Apart from that, some of them also help you to claim the insurance. In this regards, you need to ask them about the insurance norms and they must follow the manufacturer guidelines too.
  6. Genuine spare parts:
    Authorized and trained auto mechanic always incorporate genuine spare parts and they do not install the duplicate spare parts in your car. If the mechanics suggest you to install the duplicate spare parts at a cheap rate then disapprove them, because duplicate spare parts can damage your car permanently.
  7. Affordability:
    Professional and trained auto mechanic always provide your affordable rate for servicing. However, these mechanics are educated and they work very hard for your car. Therefore, they may be slightly expensive for your pocket. But, for sure you can bargain with them and chances are you can avail their discounted price range during their offers which go on all throughout the year.
  8. Warranties:
    Some auto mechanics provide you warranty on their work and if you face the same problems within their warranty period, then they will provide you free service. For this warranty, they may charge you few amount extra.

Car is an integral part of your life and you cannot lead a comfortable life without your car. So, when you hire the mechanic, you can ask them for the rental car service for the servicing period and they can help you in this regards.

Car Repairs: How Not to Get Ripped Off

Finding a good mechanic isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and even if you think you found on whom you can trust, they may not be so trusting after all. 

To avoid being ripped off in the future, here are six things to look out for to make sure you’re not paying more than you have to:

#1 Ask For an Estimate

No mechanic shop can give you an accurate estimate over the phone; however, they can give a rough estimate.  If a shop offers an exact estimate, it can backfire because even though you may think you know what’s wrong, there may be other things wrong with your car.  Plus, they may entice you to come in by saying they can do it for X, when in reality, they will charge three times the amount.  A good mechanic will always want to give an estimate in person unless you know exactly what you want such as an oil change or new tires.

#2 Get a Solid Estimate in Writing

Before the car repair shop gets to work on your vehicle, ask them to give you a solid estimate on all the work that’s going to be done. You want to know exactly how much the end job will cost. Allowing a mechanic to get to work on your vehicle without giving you a solid estimate beforehand is a recipe for disaster, and if a mechanic doesn’t automatically do that, chances are they’re not honest and may charge you a lot more than you think.

#3 Talk With Other Customers

When you pull up to the shop, there’s a good chance there are going to be other customers waiting for their vehicle. If you get a chance, ask some of these customers if this is their first time coming to the shop. If not, that’s a good sign; it means they like the work that’s being done.  It also gives you a chance to see who they may have used in the past.  It’s always great to talk with other customers to see why they go there.  Don’t just talk with the customers in the shop, either.  Talk with friends, neighbors and family to see who they use as well.

#4 Search for Reviews

While not all reviews reflect the quality of a mechanic shop’s service, they’re still worth looking at. If the mechanic has good reviews, then perhaps their services are what these reviews say they are. However, you shouldn’t stop there and assume that they’re honest.  Again, while you should take these reviews with a grain of salt, see why people like them and why people don’t like them.

#5 Settle for the Best Deal

Try to get the best deal possible, and never settle for the first estimate you receive. Make sure that no work is performed unless you specifically give permission. If you feel that the cost for parts are too high, it may be possible for you to obtain those parts yourself if you would like, and then simply pay the mechanic for labor.  However, keep in mind some mechanics won’t install parts you bring in, so be sure to ask ahead of time before you invest your money in parts.  If they do allow you to purchase parts, then it may be better to shop yourself to see if you can save.

#6 Pay Close Attention to the Shop

When inspecting a shop, there are a few things you will want to pay close attention to.  How clean is the shop?  A clean shop means the mechanics care for your space and it’s safe to say they will do the same for your car.  How knowledgeable is the staff?  The minute you walk into the shop, you should be greeted with someone who knows what they are talking about.  If they are hymning and hawing, then this could be a red flag.  Lastly, talk to the mechanics.  How old are they?  Are they knowledgeable?  A good mechanic will have been with the shop for quite some time and will be able to answer any question you have.

Doing your due diligence and talking with at least three to five shops will save you a lot of headaches.  Be sure to apply some of these tips mentioned above to ensure you’re paying the fairest price possible.

This was a guest post written by Stephanie Lynch, a freelance writer who resides in Gilbert, Arizona.  She is the co-founder of, a cost-helping database.