Getting your car repaired by right mechanic

Every time your car is repaired, regardless of how minor the problem was, make sure you keep a record. 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 documentation, you may have duplicate services performed.


Read online reviews of local body shops. This can tell you about the public views of their skills in customer service and how well they can solve a problem. After gathering information, you can select the right workshop for you.

See if you can predetermine your vehicle’s issue prior to attending at the mechanics. You can save lots of money if you can diagnose the problem yourself. It also ensures that the mechanic won’t try to pull a fast one on you. As you have probably heard, there are mechanics out there that will be dishonest so they can charge you more money.

Assemble a car repair kit and put it inside of your car. The basic tools you will need include the tyre changing equipment which should have come with your car. Also, it is wise to have screwdrivers, a ratchet set, Phillips head screwdrivers and wrenches. Don’t buy inexpensive tools. Get good, sturdy tools that won’t break when you need them the most.

If you are having extensive repairs done, make sure that you get several estimates. Although workshops are generally trustworthy, you may end up paying for extra repairs you don’t need. Search for trustworthy workshops that are experienced in repairing your car’s make. Your car is more likely to be repaired properly at these workshops.

Ask about prices and labor rates before you give your keys to a mechanic. Some workshops have their rates in visible places, so read carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. You have a right to know how much a repair will cost and what it will consist of. Some workshops have estimated repair times that are established by specific manufacturers. Repairs that seem minor may take all day long.

Do not believe that you are stuck with not knowing anything about car repairs. You really need to take your time and think over what you have learned here so when it comes time to do it, you can act. You should now see how staying within certain limits will help you save money.


5 Common car problems and how to avoid them

There are so many things that can go wrong with a car. With so many components and more electrical devices being added to cars every year, it’s important that you have a good car repair service that you can call on when you need assistance. By arranging regular car service and repairs you can avoid some of the more common car problems and ensure your car performs well all year round.

car problems

• The Flat Tyre: A flat tyre is one of the most frustrating problems you can experience on the road especially if you don’t know how to change a tyre or do not have a spare tyre available. This is also the kind of problem that often occurs when you are least prepared to deal with it. By having tyre checks carried out on a regular basis you can help to avoid damage to your tyre.

• The Dead Battery: A dead battery is one of the problems that a driver dreads the most. Without a working battery there is no way of getting the engine started or powering any of the auxiliary units on board. The good news is that you can avoid battery problems by arranging a battery test and replacement battery if necessary. Don’t take the chance of being stuck by the side of the road or in a parking lot with no power.

• Ignition Problems: There are many problems that can prevent a car’s engine from starting. If you have requested a battery test then the entire ignition system will be checked. By taking your car to your local car repair shop you can ensure your car will start first time, every time.

• Leaks or Liquids at Low Levels: It is so important that you keep oil, water and brake fluids topped off at all times. Oil and water should be checked every 2 weeks if you drive your car frequently or every 2 months if you drive less frequently. Brake fluid is also essential for ensuring efficient braking and will ensure your batteries last for as long as possible.

• Electrical Component Failure: Our vehicles rely so heavily on electrical components these days. From your car’s onboard computer to parking sensors, you won’t know how much you rely on these systems until they fail. Again, your car mechanic can give your vehicle the once over so that any potential problems can be detected before you set off on the road.

It’s easy to arrange car service and repairs online and to book full car checks or checks of specific components.


Five myths and realities of car care

There is no question that if you want your car to go the distance, you need to take care of it. But even with good intentions, you may be spending extra money on car care that isn’t necessary. Here are five maintenance myths and the money-saving truth behind them.

car care

• Myth: Change your oil every 3,000 miles.
Reality: Car Service Stations put those 3,000-mile reminder stickers on the cars after each oil change, but it’s usually not necessary. Their profits depend on not low-cost oil changes. The smart money is on sticking to the service intervals recommended in your car owner’s manual. More frequent oil changing doesn’t hurt engine, it can cost a lot of extra money and consume more petroleum.

• Myth: Air conditioning will hurt fuel economy
Reality: There has been much debate about whether to drive with the air conditioner on or keep the windows open in order to save gas. Using the A/C does put more load on the engine, but in our tests, we found just a slight decrease in fuel economy and no measurable difference when opening the windows.

• Myths: You’ll get more gas for your money if you fill up in the morning
Reality: A common tip is to buy gasoline in the morning, when the air is cool, rather than in the heat of the day. The theory is that the cooler gasoline will be denser, so you will get more for your money.

• Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tyre’s sidewall.
Reality: The figure on the side of the tyre is the maximum pressure that the tyre can safely hold, not the automaker’s recommended pressure, which provides the best balance of braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort. If the tyre pressure is down 10 psi, our testing has shown that it can make a 1 mpg difference in fuel economy. But far more significant is the impact on handling, braking, and wear–all of which can cost you one way or another. Check the tyre pressure monthly after the car has been parked for a few hours.

• Myth: Premium gas is better for your car.
Reality: Most vehicles run just fine on regular-grade fuel. Using premium in these cars won’t hurt, but it won’t improve performance, either. A higher number simply means that the fuel is less prone to pre-ignition problems, so it’s often specified for hotter running, high-compression engines. Some cars truly require premium, meaning you’re stuck paying extra.


Suspension problems of your car

Your car’s suspension is one of the most important auto systems installed in your car. It’s the part of your ride that keeps your car’s body connected to your wheels. The suspension also has the vital job of dampening the up and down movement created by your car’s leaf springs each time your ride passes through road irregularities. It basically controls the automatic, bouncing movement, to make your travels a lot more comfortable and stable.


Each time you travel, your suspension system undergoes road abuse brought by adverse road conditions and even “extreme driving”. Now imagine the amount of force the suspension system had to withstand when you hit the brakes without warning.

While your car’s suspension system is designed to be extremely hard wearing, expect tough road abuse to eventually wear out some of your suspension parts. To avoid a complete auto breakdown, troubleshoot your suspension the moment you notice something different with how your car travels—excess bouncing, bottoming out, etc.

• To save more money, I recommend habitually checking your suspension for signs of problems—this way, you can easily address minor suspension issues before they become full-blown suspension problems. In my previous post on checking your car’s exterior, I gave one tip on how you can check the state of your suspension, and that’s by “bouncing” your car. You’ll stand over at one end of your car, your assistant will stand at the other. At the same time, apply pressure on your car’s trunk and hood. This should let your car bounce a little. It should not bounce too much. If it continues bouncing even after a while, then that’s a sign of suspension troubles.

Check the following symptoms:

• “Check the visible connections of your suspension. Your suspension problems might just be caused by loose or damaged connections.” Before taking your car to the service center and having multiple parts replaced, check what you can and suggest to your mechanic what you think the problem might be.

• “Wheel shimmy” is one of the terms we use to describe the back and forth movement created by your wheels as you drive—and no, this is not a good sign or a common thing. When your wheels rapidly go from one side to the other, even when you’re driving on even roads, then you could have either one of the following:

1. At least one rapidly deflating tyre — at which point, you’ll have to inflate that tire as soon as possible.
2. Your wheels are no longer aligned.
3. It’s a steering problem. If your wheels and tires are fine
4. Excessive and/or uneven wear in your tires. Check your tires for signs of excessive wear and damage.
5. Unbalanced wheels. Take your car to the Service Station to have your wheels restored to their original position.


10 Car safety tips

With the increasing number of vehicles on the road, it is always good to practice extra care when riding or driving your car.

car safety

Here are some car safety tips you can follow to make sure that you will safely reach your destination.

1. Always wear your seat belt: Wearing your seat belt increases the chances of survival in case of a major accident. Some studies have revealed that 65% of those who suffered serious injuries in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts. If you are travelling with children, make sure that they are properly wearing their seat belts.

2. Turn off your mobile phone: People nowadays rely so much on their mobile phones that it has become common to use it while driving. Remember that using your mobile phone while driving is dangerous and accidents that happened due to mobile phone usage have increased over the past few years.

Three reasons:

• First, you have to take your eyes from the road every time you dial, hang up or type to send a text message.
• Second, your attention is diverted as you make your conversation.
• Third, in the case of hand-held devices, you lose mobility as you hold onto the phone.

3. Keep your attention on the road at all times: Avoid activities that will distract you from driving such as eating, reading, putting on make-up, etc. These distractions impair your ability to react should something happen on the road such as the car in front suddenly stopping or a vehicle on the side suddenly swerving. Keep your eyes and attention firmly on the road ahead.

4. Stay alert: If you are feeling sleepy, pull over to the side, rest and then continue driving only when you feel more alert.

5. Glance at your side and rear view mirrors from time to time: This will enable you to see how other vehicles are going. You can see if the vehicle behind you would like to overtake or if a vehicle beside you is swerving. You can then react accordingly.

6. Drive carefully in bad weather: If the weather is stormy, drive slowly and keep more distance between cars as sudden braking on wet roads can cause a vehicle to skid.

7. Keep both hands on the wheel: This will enable you to react quickly should you need to make an emergency stop or swerve suddenly.

8. Never drink and drive: Driving under the influence of alcohol greatly increases the chances of being involved in an accident.

9. Keep your car well-maintained: Following a basic maintenance routine will ensure that your car will not have breakdowns during your trip. Have your car’s engine oil changed regularly. Check your tyre’s pressure regularly and have tools and water in the car in case of emergency. Have your car checked by a trusted mechanic regularly.

10. Always stay calm: It’s so easy to get angry when another car cuts you or if another driver does something you think is inappropriate or impolite. But remember that getting angry and retaliating poses a safety risk. So keep your cool and just keep going.