TIP! Be prepared for any emergency by equipping your car with a well stocked emergency kit. Include a spare tire, a jack, a battery charger and a container full of gas.

If you own a vehicle, you need to learn a few things about auto repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately, this is not legally required, so most people never learn these basics. This article contains some great tips for you when your car is need of repair.

TIP! You must wash your car to keep the rust away. Cars eventually rust, but you can put off the process by washing off chemicals or salt quickly.

Check your coolant levels frequently. You should let your car run for a few minutes, shut the engine and open your hood. Never open the radiator cap if the engine is running. Use a dipstick to gauge how much radiator fluid you have, keeping in mind that most types need to be diluted with water.

TIP! Make sure to study your owners manual. This can help prevent a trip to the auto shop if you can fix the issue yourself.

Before you hand over your car to the shop, be sure you are clear about the repair costs. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do. Being hit with additional fees is something that you don’t want to be surprised with.

TIP! Keep all of your car records handy. Keeping them in the glove compartment is smart.

You don’t always have to take your car to the shop when there is an issue. There are a few things that could be fixed very easily. You can research the problem online in order to find out more about it. It’s not too hard to do, and you’ll be able to get money saved back to start repairing things.

TIP! Always shop around and get a second opinion before paying for an expensive repair. A few shops hide their rates, so make sure to read the fine print and ask questions whenever necessary.

Make sure the repair shop technician is familiar with the particular model of your vehicle. A mechanic who has experience with the make and model you are driving will be able to diagnose issues quickly.

TIP! Competent repairs can be done elsewhere than at the dealership. There are many shops where skilled auto technicians reside.

Keep a record when your car is fixed or maintained. Should your vehicle encounter other problems down the line, it will helpful for the auto technician to see past records. If you lack such records, you may end up paying more money for diagnostic work.

TIP! When you fill your car with gas, check tire pressure. Make sure there are no objects embedded in your tires at the same time.

Make sure that you always keep a spare tire and jack in your vehicle. Modern cars come equipped with them already. You’re not going to want to be paying money for being rescued by a tow truck after finding yourself stuck. It is a whole lot easier and cheaper if you do it yourself.

TIP! Take multiple pictures of your car before taking it to a new shop. Most shops would not strip your car, but there are those who do this to make extra money.

If you have to have a big repair done, get multiple estimates. While you can usually trust an auto repair shop, you don’t want to be paying too much money for the repairs needed. If possible, find a mechanic who is specialized in the make and model you have or in the kind of problems you are encountering. Such shops have a greater chance of knowing how to fix your car.

TIP! It is often best to get minor issues checked by a qualified professional if you are not sure how to fix them. A small problem can become a big one if it is left unchecked.

Take off your keychains from your car keys to reduce the weight on your ignition. Your car ignition shouldn’t have to hold so much weight. Too much weight on your keychain can cause your key to stick.

TIP! Never buy from a mechanic who promises that parts will last over the full lifetime of a vehicle. Most of the time this is just a way for them to get their hands on more of your money.

Know what your dashboard warning lights mean, and keep an eye on them. They’re there for a reason. If you ignore them, the problem will only become worse than it is now.

TIP! Not many people bother reading their owner’s manual. To better know your car, you should look over this manual.

Owning a car includes being responsible for maintaining it and fixing it when you need to. Unfortunately, some people do not know how to find affordable auto repair or make their own repairs. Take these ideas and apply them next time you need to repair you car. You should be able to save yourself time and money in the future. Good luck.