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Learning about auto repair may seem overwhelming, however it is much easier than you think. Teaching yourself about cars can really be useful in the future. Keep reading to see some excellent tips that you can do in regard to auto repair, so you don't have to spend endless hours at the mechanic's shop.

Always carry a good emergency kit in the trunk of your car. This kit should contain a number of items, including tools, flares, a gas container and an emergency battery charger. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.

Ask many questions about your car when you bring it in for repairs. These questions can involve issues you're dealing with and what you can do to avoid them in the future. Preventing issues can save you a lot of money.

Check your radiator frequently. Keep your car running then shut the engine for several minutes before opening the hood. You never want to open up the radiator if your car is still running. Check how much fluid is in the radiator with a dipstick and keep in mind that you should always mix coolant with water before pouring it in your radiator.

Look up your local body shop's reviews online. This lets you know how other customers have felt. You can then use that information to pick a shop that you can feel comfortable giving your money to.

Before paying your mechanic for any work done, make sure to take it for a short test drive first, to make sure everything is working as it should. If you don't do this, it's possible that the problem isn't even fixed.

When taking your car to the mechanic for repairs, never leave valuables in the car. If your belongings are in the way of your mechanic's repairs, they may be moved to the side, possibly even lost. Empty both the trunk and glove compartment.

Make sure your headlights are clean if they don't look as bright. Sometimes, dirt from the road transfers over to your lights dim them. Use glass cleaner to wash them thoroughly.

Before you bring your car to a repair shop, try to determine what is wrong with your car. You can save lots of money if you diagnose the problem on your own, and you may also be able to prevent yourself from being swindled. Mechanics sometimes will cost you an arm and a leg for unnecessary repairs.

Put together a small tool kit for your car and keep it in your trunk. These tools should include a tire changing kit, which comes in most cars. If you don't have a jack and lug wrench, get one. You will need several screwdrivers, ratchets, socket wrenches, an adjustable wrench and a torque wrench. Avoid cheap tools. Buy quality ones that you are sure won't fail when you really need them.

Know when it is time to change your oil, an important car maintenance task. You have to change it regularly to keep your car running smoothly. Failing to get routine oil changes will shorten you car's life, so set reminders if necessary.

Remember that you don't have to go to your dealer to get auto repair work done. There are many great technicians all over the place. If you find one you like, you should hire him.

Educate yourself about questions to ask your mechanic before you go to the shop. There are refurbished parts, reconditioned parts, and salvage parts. Parts that are new are recently created to fit manufacturer specifications. Refurbished parts are ones that have been repaired. Salvaged parts are used parts that have not been repaired.

If you feel that your car has even the smallest of problems, it is smart to get it checked right away. Often times, ignoring small issues lead directly to more serious ones.

If you have a bit of basic knowledge, you should see that car repair is not so frightening as it may have once been. You can educate yourself and learn to fix many things yourself. So keep these tips in mind if your car develops problems again.

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