TIP! Always have a good battery charger in your car. Batteries die all the time, but you won’t be in trouble if you can charge it.

When you drive frequently, you need to understand the basics of auto repairs. There are shocking numbers of drivers out there who are entirely clueless on this subject, though. Luckily, the article below has some great tips that will help you keep your car in tip top shape.

TIP! Ensure your car has an emergency kit. This kit should contain a number of items, including tools, flares, a gas container and an emergency battery charger.

Prior to handing over your keys, be sure you have a good idea of the repair cost. If you aren’t sure about anything, ask for clarification. If you do not communicate with your mechanic, you might be surprised with additional fees once you receive your bill.

TIP! Make sure you often check the radiator. Start your car, wait a few minutes and shut it off so you can safely inspect the radiator.

Familiarize yourself with your car’s manual. When you visit a car shop, mechanics will need to know particular information about your car. By knowing the manual, you may actually find you can fix some issues yourself.

Keep car records handy. Keeping them in the glove compartment is smart. Professional mechanics are going to ask for those records. They can find problems much quicker that way.

TIP! Read online reviews of local body shops. This will give you an idea of how the public likes their customer service, and how well they are at fixing problems.

Always keep a record of any maintenance done to your car. If you have problems with your vehicle later on, you will find it helpful to have some records for the next technician to look at. If you do not have the records, you might end up paying more for the mechanic to poke around trying to find the source of the trouble.

TIP! Look out for any mechanics that add unnecessary repairs. Good mechanics will inform you if parts need replacing or will need replacing in the near future; however, they should not actually take the extra step and replace parts without your knowledge and approval.

Be mindful whether additional repairs recommended are really necessary. Work should never be performed without your permission, but a good mechanic may point out upcoming repairs that are necessary. A mechanic who has performed this practice should never be patronized again.

TIP! Your repair person should be upfront and honest with you. If a mechanic is not giving you straight answers or cannot explain repairs in details, you should keep looking.

OEM parts should be asked for. This means that they’ve come directly from the manufacturer. Although generic parts are more affordable, OEM parts are better quality and will last longer. What saves you a bit of money in the short term, may end up costing you dearly in the long term.

TIP! Has your mechanic worked on your model of vehicle before? While the basic components are all the same, there is going to to be a big difference in the way say a Hummer versus a Smart car utilize the space under the hood. If you don’t think the shop you are going to really knows what they are doing, take your car to the dealer instead.

Watch out for blatant signs that your mechanic is not to be trusted. If your mechanic talks in confusing terms or tells you not to worry about the details, then it may be time to find one who you have confidence in.` It is important that you trust the person that is repairing your vehicle, and if you don’t, then go somewhere else.

TIP! Take all the fluffy and fun key chains off, or remove the car key. The ignition isn’t designed to hold tons of weight.

Don’t have too many keychains or other items on your key fob. Your car’s ignition is simply not designed to hold all that weight, even if it may not seem that heavy to you. Particularly, if you notice that the key is hard to extract from the ignition, you need to make a change!

TIP! You should know and pay attention to your dashboard’s warning lights. Use them to your advantage, they’re put there to guide you.

Make sure that you clean your car in the winter as well. Winter can be the most damage causing time of the year for your car. Rust and abrasion can occur from the particles flying around in the air. Always dry the vehicle off, though, before you take it out for a spin so that the water doesn’t turn into ice.

TIP! You should still wash your car during the winter time. Winter can be the most damage causing time of the year for your car.

A dealer isn’t your only option for auto repair. You can find a good technician anywhere by following good guidelines. If you are more comfortable with one of them, by all means use them.

TIP! Whenever you fill up on gas, make sure you check the pressure of your tires. Check your tires regularly for embedded items and for uneven wear patterns.

If you own a car, it is your job to keep it in good working order. But, some folks lack the knowledge to find good mechanics or to repair their cars themselves. Read the above information as needed, and you will be ready for whatever comes your way.