For those who don’t work in auto shops and related settings, it can be challenging to figure out what you should know about your car beyond basic information like how to drive it safely, when to get an oil change, and when to replace the tires. While most people who own a car can tell if something major is wrong with their vehicle, it is all too common for car owners to neglect little signs that something might be amiss with their car until it warrants an expensive, extensive repair. If your car has updated technology compared to older models, it can also mean that you may not know that something is wrong with the wiring until crucial systems in the vehicle shut down or malfunction so it’s best to become an expert on your specific vehicle if you can.
While mechanics can tell you some parts of what you should know about your car, it also depends on your priorities as a vehicle owner. Some people might not care about the aesthetic aspects of their car while others will want to know how they can chase the latest auto industry trends to keep their car looking as updated and modern as possible. When you own more than one vehicle, it’s wise to become educated on all of the vehicles you own since some cars may be more finicky than others and some vehicles may need to have their oil changed more often than others.
- Cars Need Preventative Care, Too
- Consult with a Mechanic or Technician Before You Buy a Car
- Your Vehicle Might Need More Frequent Oil Changes
- You’ll Want Specialty Services for Specific Situations
- Maintaining Your Brakes Is Worth Every Penny
- Your Auto Coverage May Be Able to Help Pay
- Repairs Aren’t the Only Thing Auto Services Do
- Automotive Technology Is Changing
Cars Need Preventative Care, Too
Humans know that we need to see the doctor not only when we feel sick or injured but also when we want to prevent ourselves from catching common ailments or identify potential signs of disease before they advance. In the same way, you don’t just need to visit car repair shops when your car is in a state of disrepair–you can and should plan to regularly schedule preventative maintenance services such as changing out air filters, changing the oil, rotating the tires, and inspecting the vehicle. If you have a hard time keeping track of necessary services and appointments coming up for your car, you can ask your mechanic shop to send you reminders via email or text when pre-made appointments are nearing to make it easier for you to keep those appointments and maintain your car’s well-being.
When you learn about what you should know about your car, it can be all too easy to focus on everything you need to do after something bad happens to your vehicle. If you’ve ever been in a car accident that could have been prevented if a vehicle had regular preventative measures, you’ll know how important it is to stay on top of maintenance even if it seems like nothing is wrong with your car. A reputable mechanic’s shop will be mindful of your time and only recommend services that are necessary for you–if you’re tight on funds, they may also be able to help you figure out what services should be at the top of your priority list and which ones might be nice to have but unnecessary in a pinch.
Consult with a Mechanic or Technician Before You Buy a Car
Many of us are guilty of waiting until we’ve bought a lemon that needs transmission services to contact a mechanic rather than asking an automotive technician to inspect a car before we put money down on it. The amount of time, money, and heartache you can save by enlisting an auto technician to come with you to the car dealership or other car sale setting is enough to justify spending some money for the pre-purchase inspection if your mechanic charges for that service. While you might find an amazing deal on a used car in your area on the internet, it could be too good to be true so it’s wise to ask a trusted auto specialist to evaluate the vehicle before you decide to purchase it.
Even if you know that used cars tend to need more work than new vehicles, it can be helpful to have a pre-purchase inspection to determine how much work, and therefore time and money, a used car might need before you buy it. If you’re interested in several used cars, having someone conduct a pre-purchase inspection can help you decide which one will be the safest vehicle to use on long commutes or which vehicle might be more expensive in the long run once you need to make large repairs on it. Pre-purchase inspections also hold unscrupulous used car dealers accountable if the mechanic notices that they are trying to sell you a car that is unsafe to drive or unfairly priced based on key issues that are going on with the car.
Your Vehicle Might Need More Frequent Oil Changes
While you probably know that you need to take your car to the car mechanics for an oil change every so many miles or so many months, you may not know that the way you drive your car impacts how frequently you should switch out the old oil for fresh oil. If you tend to drive in urban settings or you drive at high speeds, your car will start to feel it and it might be screaming for an oil change sooner than it would if you drove at lower speeds or in rural settings with minimal small turns or abrupt stops. Since every car and driver is different, it’s best to ask your mechanic about what you should know about your car in terms of the correct frequency at which you should schedule oil changes and other routine visits.
You’ll Want Specialty Services for Specific Situations
When you’ve gotten your car into a bad accident, you shouldn’t take your car to any old shop to be repaired. Instead, you should find a mechanic shop that specializes in car collision repair. Although this might not seem like something related to what you should know about your car, it has to do with the quality of care your car will receive and the likelihood that the auto mechanics in that shop will know what to do for confusing or challenging issues that may come up as a result of the extenuating circumstances.
If your car is a rare model or make, it can also be helpful to go to car repair shops that specialize in working with your type of vehicle. For example, those with exotic or classic cars may find that it’s better to go to repair or upgrade services that are used to working with your vehicle so you don’t have to wait forever for the part they ordered to arrive at the shop. When you own a luxury vehicle, it’s equally important to find an auto repair shop that repairs luxury vehicles so you know that the car you’ve probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase is in the best hands it could be as it’s being restored to its former glory.
Maintaining Your Brakes Is Worth Every Penny
While some of us wait until our brakes give out entirely to schedule a brake repair, it’s a good idea to do what you can to maintain your brakes and make them last as long as possible you can. Not only is it cheaper to maintain your brakes than it is to replace them in many cases, but it’s also a good idea to get them checked out regularly to ensure that they’re functioning properly. Some auto accidents happen because of the brakes randomly failing to perform their duties but if car owners would get their brakes checked out regularly, they may be able to play a part in preventing these types of worst-case scenarios.
When you discover what you should know about your car, you’ll probably learn all about how long you can expect brakes to last before they need to be replaced and what parts of the brakes tend to need maintenance such as the brake pads. If you’re not sure if your brakes are functioning properly or you notice them making strange sounds like squealing when you come to a stop, you should see a mechanic right away. Even if replacing the brakes might seem expensive, a good mechanic should be able to work with you to preserve your current brakes if it’s possible and develop a payment plan that works for you if it’s not possible to save them at this time.
Your Auto Coverage May Be Able to Help Pay
One of the main reasons why some car owners tend to neglect certain problems with their cars or avoid the mechanic’s shop is because they don’t know how they’ll be able to afford the bill once the repairs are done. Thankfully, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to rely on your car insurance policy to cover some repairs if they qualify. Although every insurance policy is different, some will cover your bill at car repair shops if your vehicle is damaged as a result of a qualifying event or accident.
When you’re thinking about what you should know about your car, you should become familiar with your car insurance policy and ask your car insurance agent questions if you don’t understand how it works. Otherwise, you may end up spending your own money when you could have help from your insurance to cover something or you might end up banking on your insurance covering something that is disqualified from coverage. Learning about different types of insurance policies like commercial auto policies and umbrella insurance policies can also help you protect your vehicle if you use it for your business or if you need more coverage than what your primary policy offers.
Repairs Aren’t the Only Thing Auto Services Do
Beyond fixing your vehicle, they may also offer other services like towing services. Of course, these may not be cheap or free so it’s wise to get a quote before using those services and see if you can get help paying for them through services like AAA. Still, part of learning what you should know about your car involves discovering all of the potential services you may need for your vehicle and saving the contact information of those services for emergencies.
Automotive Technology Is Changing
In the past few decades or even the past few years, what you should know about your car has evolved. While previous generations would have only dreamed of having cars with backup cameras, connection to Bluetooth, and other features, the average auto technician today needs to know how to work with auto shop software and repair it to stay competitive in this field. If you have a high-tech car, you’ll want to have an auto repair team who understands how to repair the technical side of your car as well as standard parts that are used in every car like the brakes and the transmission.
Some advancements like paintless dent repairs have nothing to do with computer technology. Although you might think that all of the new technology in cars is making our cars more confusing to drive, it can be interesting to learn as much as you can about the software that gives cars a futuristic edge these days. If you own an electric vehicle, what you should know about your car changes. Some mechanic shops may not encounter many electric vehicles in your area if they’re not a common vehicle for people to have, so you may need to be more knowledgeable.
Overall, speaking with your mechanic or auto repair shop technicians about what you should know about your car is the best way to keep your car running in optimal condition. Although you can find information on the internet about how to care for cars in your model or make, it doesn’t beat consulting with someone who knows your car individually and who also knows about your budget along with other factors that may indicate how one would prioritize care for your vehicle. If you’re not sure how to find a mechanic in your area who’s reputable and charges fair prices, it may be a good idea to ask neighbors or friends in your region about who they recommend as a mechanic and go from there.