Learning about auto repair can be your ticket to saving a lot of money, especially if you have an old car or one with several problems. This article will provide you with some great tricks that you can use for a lifetime. Read on to start doing auto repair yourself.

Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention.

If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.

Make sure you get a signed copy of the estimate for the repairs. You also need to make sure that the contract contains a clause that the shop must contact you before exceeding the total on the estimate. This will protect you from getting a surprise bill once work is completed.

Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you need more information on a mechanic or a garage. If some complaints have been filed against them, your Better Business Bureau will tell you. Ask your friends and family about the different mechanics they have dealt with in the past to get some recommendations.

The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.

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.

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.

You should not send your vehicle to a repair shop without getting quotes from different places. While you can usually trust an auto repair shop, you don’t want to be paying too much money for the repairs needed. Search for trustworthy shops that are experienced in repairing your car’s make. They may have an easier time understanding what needs to be done to your car.

Make sure that the auto repair shop you go to offers a warranty on their services. There are plenty of repair shops that will do a shoddy job, and there is nothing you can do about that if you have no warranty. A warranty will give you the opportunity to get the problem fixed for no charge.

Listen for any strange noises that your car may be making. These may be popping sounds, knocks, squeals, or something else. They are definitely symptoms of some sort of issue that needs auto repair. Keep a log of when you hear them, and note the type of driving you were doing when they occurred. It will help the auto shop diagnose the issue properly.

Bleed brakes after you’ve worked on them and before test driving them. Following this, pump the brake fluid. Look for any leaks. Now you can take your car out for a test drive on roads with light traffic. Begin slowly and gradually pick up speed to determine if the issue is fixed.

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.

Whenever you are working on your car’s electrical system, you should make certain the battery is disconnected. Failing to do so could cause you to receive an electrical shock. If you aren’t certain whether or not the area you intend to work on has electrical components, play it save and disconnect your battery.

Dealer mechanics are costly, but often the right way to go. Dealer technicians are specialized in your car’s model. They can pinpoint the problem quickly and are trained to fix problems common to your model. They also undergo regular training programs.

Try not to idle the car for too long at one time. This is even more important to remember during the first 1,000 miles off of the dealership. When idling your car during the break-in period, the oil pressure may not be entirely capable of pushing the oil to each component necessary throughout the engine.

While it is tempting to use cheaper aftermarket parts on your car, it is best to go with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. These are parts designed by the maker of your car. The fit is perfect. For a machine as expertly engineered as a modern automobile, this will extend the life of your car.

Changing the brake pads on your car can feel like a waste of money, particularly if you have not even noticed a need to do so. This is one thing that you do not want to let go, however. If you do not get the pads changed at the recommended times, they can wear out, causing much worse damage that will be more expensive to fix later.

If you are taking your car to an auto repair service shop and need new parts, try and request OEM pats. OEM or original equipment manufacturer parts are the exact same part that the manufacture used to build your car. This will ensure that the part functions exactly like it is supposed to.

Do you feel like you know more of what to do now when you’re facing a problem with your vehicle. Do not panic! Instead, focus on finding the right solution based on the tips that have been presented to you in this article. You will find out that you will be successful.