/Five Things to Know Before You Take Your Car to the Mechanic

Five Things to Know Before You Take Your Car to the Mechanic

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The automotive industry holds a lot of secrets, and they are able to hang on to many of them because making sure your car is in good condition is extremely important. After all, one small mistake can leave you stranded on the side of the road or in an accident. That’s why so many people take their cars to the dealership or their local mechanic at the first sign of trouble.

The next time there’s trouble, don’t panic! By knowing the tricks on this list, you can save money by spending less time paying to get your car maintained or repaired.

You Can Buy Your Own Parts and Have Them Installed

There are a lot of reasons why getting your car repaired can be so expensive. A good portion of your bill reflects the amount of labor required to make the repair, but parts can cost a lot of money too.

Instead of relying on your mechanic to order the part for your car, did you know you can order your parts yourself? From a Mustang exhaust system to wheels and everything in between, you may be able to save by purchasing the items on your own. Many car owners save a ton by purchasing parts on eBay or by checking out the local junk yard. Then, all you have to do is bring the part in and have your mechanic install it.

Your Car Battery is Probably Okay

Is your battery sounding a little under the weather when you start your car? Your mechanic would likely tell you that it’s time to replace your battery. Although it’s common knowledge that they generally only lasts for around five years, chances are, you can get a lot more life out of your battery.

Instead of paying to have it replaced, clean the car battery terminals. They can very easily be cleaned with baking soda or cola!

If that doesn’t seem to fix the problem, try recharging your battery. A quick recharge may be all it takes to renew your battery, and you can save on the cost of buying a new one.

You Probably Don’t Need That Oil Change Yet

If you send your car to the mechanic or a quick lube garage to get your oil changed, you’ll probably be sent home with a little sticker that recommends you get your oil changed in 3,000 miles, or again in three months. The truth is, you can probably go a lot longer between oil changes.

Most car manufacturers recommend changing the oil in most cars between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. Auto industry insiders even claim you can go as long as 10,000 miles before an oil change! What’s most important is making sure your car doesn’t run out of oil but refilling it is something you can do yourself.

The only exception is if you regularly drive your car less than 10 miles at a time. It doesn’t get the oil hot enough to boil off moisture condensation, so low mileage vehicles should have their oil changed at least twice a year, regardless of the distance driven.

Your Check Engine Light Might Not Be Anything to Panic About

It’s normal to panic if your check engine light comes on. It could reflect a really serious problem! Then again, maybe not.

One of the most common reasons for the check engine light to come on is because your gas cap is loose. Before you go into the garage and pay to have the codes run on your check engine light, tighten the gas cap and see if that fixes the problem.

There Are Many Things You Can Change on Your Car Yourself

The list doesn’t end there! Even if your car does need a fix, there are many fixes you can do yourself, and you can save a bundle in the process.

A few things you can change in your car yourself include:

  • Air and oil filters
  • Windshield wipers
  • Spark plugs
  • Brake pads

You can even install new tires yourself! It’s a lot cheaper to have your tires sealed to the rim and installed yourself than to have a mechanic do it all.

It’s important to have a mechanic you can trust, but that doesn’t mean you should give them a call every time something goes wrong. Take a minute to assess the situation. You may discover that you can take care of the problem yourself and save in the process.

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(CEO / Editor / Journalist) – Bruno is the owner and CEO of Motorward.com; he’s responsible for the entire team, editorial guidelines and publishing. Bruno has many years of experience in the auto industry, both managing automotive websites and contributing to the press.