Car Repairs – 5 Steps on How to Avoid Unnecessary Repairs

Step 1 – Take your car to multiple repair shops for inspection.
Let’s say that your car is making a loud, metallic grinding sound every time you push on the brakes, so you take your car to the local repair shop you’ve passed day in and day out on your way to work. The first thing you should do is let the service writer know you are here for an inspection and to not perform any services until you have had the chance to authorize them. Ask them to inspect your vehicle and quote you a price. If the service writer comes back to you after the mechanic has performed the inspection and says your car needs additional repairs, this might be a red flag. Keep in mind that when a service writer comes back to you with additional repairs he is not necessarily padding the bill. What you need to pay attention to is how he or she explains the additional repairs. If the service writer goes into great detail about the necessity of the additional repairs only leaving you to forget why you brought your car in for inspection in the first place, be weary. Take your car to another auto repair shop or mechanic for inspection. See if they come back with the same result. I would do this until you feel comfortable with the repair shop and/or mechanic.
Step 2 – Do not let the repair shop or mechanic put your car on the rack and start taking it apart until you give them authorization.
If you fail to do this you might be forced to authorize unnecessary and costly repairs just to get your car off the rack. You might be forced to pay a large fee to have your vehicle reassembled. This is not a good situation and one you desperately want to avoid.
Step 3 – See how the service writer explains additional repairs.
When you bring your car in for an oil change/inspection and the service writer hits you with a list of additional repairs. If he or she talks about the additional pairs and the importance of them only leaving you to forget why you brought your car in for work in the first place, this might be a red flag. Not all mechanics are evil and try to take advantage of you, but keep in mind of this situation.
Step 4 – Ask the repair shop and or mechanic to itemize your repairs.
Tell the service writer to include parts pricing and expected labors hours. If they fail to give you the itemized information something could be up. If they do give you an itemized bill you now have the opportunity to do some research. Go home and try to find out as much as you can on the expected work, or better yet, take your itemized bill to another repair shop and ask them to look it over.
Step 5 – If you are taking your service that includes tire rotation try marking your tires (discreetly of course).
For example, mark the front tire on the driver’s side with the number 1, and then mark the back tire on the driver’s side with the number 2 and so on and so forth. Snap a picture with your camera phone (assuming you have one) or digital camera for documentation. When you pick up your car from the repair shop, prior to paying the bill see if the tires where rotated. If they were not rotated you have proof that something is wrong and you can be assured the repair shop is not going to try and mess with you from that point on.

Car Repair: How To Communicate With A Mechanic

When our vehicles are in need of attention from a professional, unless we are well versed in auto repair and maintenance, most of us are not always sure on how to deal with a mechanic. We may have suspicions of getting ripped off and can be unsure of how to address the individual who will be working on our automobile. It is best to have a notion of how to get the most out of a trip to a car repair business prior to going to one. Here is some advice on how to economically deal with an auto technician.
When you go to the car shop, see if you can meet with the individual who will be working on your automobile specifically. This is important, as you will want to discuss any specific details and problems to allow the worker to serve you best. This will make the repair run along smoother and perhaps even take less time, which in effect may save you money.
Being vague when discussing the problems of an automobile doe not help either the customer or technician, so be as detailed as possible when discussing what you think is wrong with your vehicle. Be sure to describe any unusual sounds, the persistence of a problem, any noticeable performance issues, and how the long the issue has been going on that you may be dealing with while driving.
Specificity is a must when telling workers what you want worked on. If you merely asked for your vehicle to be “fixed”, then you could end up having to pay for labor you do not need and cannot afford.
Always ask questions of if you are unsure of what is being discussed about your car. As a customer to have the right the know how your money is being spent, so be sure to clarify just what types of car repairs will be carried out.
If possible, make an appointment ahead of time with the repair shop. This will insure that the most qualified worker will be assigned to your automobile
Ask for a written estimate before leaving the auto shop regarding the cost of repairs. It is also a good idea to make sure that you will be contacted if any additional problems are discovered by mechanics. This way, you will not be agreeing to repairs that you may not be aware of. In addition, do not hesitate to validate when the labor will be complete and when your car will be ready to be picked up.
After car repairs are finished and you have picked your vehicle up, take it for a short test drive. If anything seems out-of-order, take it back right away and communicate that you are not satisfied with the work done on.
Our automobiles are essential to our daily lives and their proper maintenance ensures our safety while using them. Repairs and work on them can be costly and confusing to people unacquainted with auto care, so just take the time to know how to deal with the workers who will be tuning up your vehicle. This will help them to do a better job and most likely end up costing you less money.

The Essential Car Repair Tool Kit – Everything You Need To Do Your Own Repairs

You may not be an ace mechanic, but there are some simple car repair jobs that just about anybody can do. In fact, the more you can do yourself, the more you’ll save for when you really need help. Doing your own car repair is a fulfilling way to get closer to your beloved vehicle. It all starts with having the right tools.
Just like collecting anything else, getting your kit together becomes a sort of addiction. Watching it grow tool by tool, and seeing how each part can be used, is lots of fun and it makes driving your car more interesting. Keep in mind that this list is only the absolute basics; as you learn more about car repair, you’ll add to it.
– Jack And Lug Wrench. You’ll need a jack for lifting up your car and a lug wrench to remove lugs. These simple tools come in handy for almost everything. Your vehicle comes with a jack already, but it’s best to ditch it and buy a better one. Hydraulic jacks are generally considered to be the best.
– Socket Set And Box Wrench Set. You can buy a basic socket set from any hardware store. You don’t need anything fancy to get started doing your own car repair. The box wrench is useful for getting to hard-to-reach areas, and there are plenty of those on any vehicle. Start with basic sets and buy more as you need them.
– Combination Wrench Set. Same as above, you’ll need to do some serious twisting to get at the trouble spots of your car. A combo set will have various sizes and types, and this should cover all the stuff you’ll need to do with your vehicle.
– Auto Repair Manual. It’s always surprising how much a good, old-fashioned repair manual will come in handy. Get the instruction manual for your car’s model and make if you anticipate doing some serious repairs from time to time. If you’re not going to spend so much time fixing stuff, you can always check it out of your local library.
– Work Lights. Good lighting enables you to do your work in the evening, and even in daytime they can help a lot to really see what you’re doing. The best work lights to get are fluorescent shop lights. They’re bright and tough, and they’ll stay cool. They’re great for lighting up what you’re doing. Be sure to have some good extension cords as well.
The above list is very basic, but it will at least get you started. When you’re first buying stuff for your car repair kit, remember that you don’t need anything fancy. Salespeople will turn your head around with the latest gadgets and tools, but what you really need are some simple things that you can use when you’ve got something to do a car repair. Start simple and cheap, and expand into bigger and better things as your collection grows.

When It Does Not Make Sense to Fix Your Car

During these hard economic times, we are all trying to stretch a dollar. One way we are doing that is by keeping our cars longer. That of course means we now have to make repairs to a car that we may have simply replaced a few years ago. That puts many of us into the uncharted waters of car repair. So, when does repairing the car fall into the category of throwing good money after bad? The answer depends on a lot of things and is different for everyone.
Obviously, one major contributor to that decision is the cost of the repairs. If the cost of those repairs is more that the car is worth, is does not make much sense to fix it. If you do not know the value of your car, you can find out from the Kelly Blue Book. The Kelly Blue Book only goes back twenty years. If your car is older than that, you can find out its value from The NADA Guides classic car section.
If the costs of repairs are less than the value of the vehicle and you are fairly handy, you may be able to save the labor costs by doing the repairs yourself. If you cannot do the repairs yourself, there are many things to consider when deciding what to do with the car. If your car has high mileage, is very old, has been giving you a lot of trouble or is generally in poor condition, it simply may not be in your best interest to repair it. Ultimately, the decision will come down to you level of comfort with your car.
If you do decide to replace your car, you then have to figure out what to do with it. You can trade it in. However, most car buying guides suggest that you are likely to get a better deal without a trade in. Also, the car dealer will probably not give you much for it because it needs repairs. For the same reason, it may be hard to sell it privately. Most car buyers do not want to purchase a car that needs repair, particularly if it does not run.
You can sell it to a junk yard. They might give you a couple of hundred dollars for it. They will then sell all the workable parts from it for a lot more money than you received, then crush it and sell the scrap metal.
You can decide to dismantle your car and sell the parts yourself. That will cost you a lot of time along with some money for advertising. Then you have to decide what to do if someone claims the part you sold them does not work. You also have the problem of disposing of the left over parts and the carcass of the car. And, many communities will not allow you to have a dismantled car on your property.

Knowing About Nitro

So we started a few entries ago with the basics of automobiles. Stuff like air filters, horsepower and cylinders. What they mean and how they work. Then we got more advanced with the supercharger and turbocharger. But this is only the beginning. Today, let’s learn about nitro.
Anyone who is into racing will know about nitro or nitrous, and most people will have heard the term at some point or another. Nitro, which has the scientific name nitrous oxide, it is two nitrogen atoms attached to one oxygen atom. It is injected into fuel systems to make a much more powerful combustion. Have you ever seen a drag racer with flames shooting out of the exhaust? That is extra nitro being burned off as it leaves the exhaust system.
Air and gas mix in a cylinder and are ignited to create energy. Well what would happen if you can get more air into a cylinder? Right, it would create a larger combustion. Remember how nitro is two parts nitrogen and one part oxygen? When nitro is added to the gas and ignites, the nitro releases the oxygen into the cylinder, thus increasing the amount of air available to burn. This is why nitro is so explosive, it has air in it that feeds its own combustion.
Depending on the engine and design, nitrous can add anywhere from.5 hp to 3,000 hp. Nitrous is so powerful that it doesn’t all burn off in the cylinder. Some of it gets ejected into the exhaust system. This explains the flames you sometimes see coming out of nitrous equipped cars.
You can’t add nitro to old, used vehicles. It puts a major strain on an engine cars need to be modified to equip it. If not it can result in cracked pistons, damaged casings, ruined crankshafts or even out right detonation. Another problem with nitro is that is relies on a very specific ratio of air to and fuel. Too much or too little and it could ruin your engine or once again detonate. Strong engine casings aside, detonation is not something you want to have happen to your car. If you ever see a car looks like it is blowing steam out of a hole in the hood before a race then you know it has nitro in it. The drivers “purge” their system before races to make sure there is no extra nitro caught in the pipes.
Engineers have been experimenting with using nitro for decades now. In fact during World War 2, both English and German aviators experimenting with adding nitro to planes to help with high altitude, low oxygen flights. Consider yourself warned though, nitro is not cheap nor is it street legal. In fact many races, including NASCAR ban its use. For the record you can have it in your car on the streets but you have to have the feed line disconnected or closed, we don’t want you outrunning the police now do we?

Car Repair for Road Trip Fanatics

Every car owner fulfills a dream when they purchase their first car. Owning and driving the car is the easy part. Caring for the vehicle and having regular maintenance is the harder task. Regular service sessions, frequent wash & waxing, protecting the body from hot sunny weather and cold snowy temperatures are the best practices every car owner embraces.
A popular myth for car owners is that “driving is the easy part, where as maintenance is the serious part.” Many people would agree, but this is none the less a myth. Actually, car maintenance is not such a herculean task, all that matters is keeping the car in top condition and performing consistently. Keeping this in mind you can take care of most of the maintenance needs of the vehicle by your self. Over time you can learn to service the basic needs of the car manually, once the functions are clear.
When you get your car serviced or repaired, do not compromise on quality spare parts and a good mechanic. Always use original auto parts and never use a cheap substitute, consider that it’s cheap for a certain reason. Cheap auto parts will harmfully affect the performance of your vehicle especially in the long run. You should take care of minor issues immediately before they evolve into a major issue.
It’s vital to clean or replace the air filter to keep the car’s airflow functioning at optimum levels. There are multiple types of junk and particles that flies into the engine compartment, these can significantly affect on road performance. When the air filter is nearly clogged and dirty, a “check engine” light will glow up on the car’s meter. It’s best to replace the air filter if it hasn’t been changed in a while, whereas, newer filter can be washed and re used.
When cleaning the engine, many people use water, which could have negative effects on the engine. It’s not good to give the engine a shower with any kind of liquid. Water can get into the distributor cap which can cause ignition problems. If you are going to clean the engine by yourself then use proper instructions given by the company or simply use a mechanic.
Generally, you can worry less about the suspension and unless there are rattling sounds indicating worn out parts there is no need to go to a mechanic. A car that pulls to one side while driving is a clear cut signals that the suspension needs immediate calibration. Tire pressure and tire wear & tear are also very important since, deflated tires have an adverse effect on the performance making the engine haul the car with more power. Uneven tire wear & tear is a good indicator that the alignment and suspension needs repairs. Prescott alignment services provide computerized chassis and tire maintenance ensuring a complete formula to your car’s foundation.
One last feature for minimizing maintenance and repairs is adopting good driving habits. Keep steady control on the accelerator, brake and clutch. Properly accelerating and braking coupled with proper gear timing has a direct effect on the mileage. You should make sure not to carry additional heavy items in the car, as time passes irrelevant items are accumulated in the trunk. You should remove any additional weight from the car that may cause the mileage to go down since the car is pulling more weight.