If you're like me, anything past an oil change is out of my league. At least that's what I thought. I love having a car. I love the freedom it gives me, I love that it allows me to get to where I need (or want) to be. What I don't love is maintaining my car. This is most likely because I didn't really know what I needed to know. I just needed to know the basics. I needed to know how and when to maintain my car. How often should I get an oil change? How soon do I need to replace my tires and how do I know? These are all questions and concerns that I had that stopped me from wanting to deal with it. I wish my car would just go and would always just go regardless of how often I would have it serviced. Unfortunately it's just not that way. Luckily I work at an auto repairshop now and I have people who can help educate me on keeping my car going. So now I can relay that message to you. Here are a few tips on keeping your car in good shape and ensuring that you have a less expensive and more accurate repair.
- Be as detailed as possible!
Give your service advisorall thedetails you have.If your car is overheating and it only happens when you're blasting Beyoncé and the AC at the same time, tell them! You want to let your service advisor know the exact problem and it'll be much easier for them to help you out if they get as much information as they need.
- Read your owner'smanual
Now I know this seems obvious. But I know there are people out there just like me. People who don't even know if they actually have a manual. Your manual is going to tell you when you should have maintenance done, what kind of fluids your car needs, how to interpret warning indicator lights and so much more. Get to know your manual, it's your friend and it's there to help you.
- Talk to your service advisor about any recommended repairs
In a perfect world we could fix everything all at once but it doesn't work that way all the time. Repairs can be expensive so there are times that you can only focus on the important things first. So talk to your service advisor about what needs to be done next and how soon it should be done. Ask for a print out of these recommendations and keep them with you to remind yourself that there is still work to be done.
- Pay attention to the lights on your dashboard
It's in your best interest to pay attention to those lights. If a light turns on check your manual and see what it means. It could be something basic, like you need to add some fluids to your car or it could be something bigger like a check engine light. You want to take them seriously, it's not worth it to ignore the light. A small problem could turn into a big one if you don't give it the attention it needs. The lights are not there to look pretty, they are there to let you know something needs your attention.
- Ask questions!
Your service advisor is here to help you. Don't be afraid to ask all the questions that are on your mind. You need your car and you want to make sure you are well informed on the status and condition of your car.
Good maintenance of your car is very important if you want to keep the cost down and you want to keep your car for a long time. Treat your car well and it will continue to take you places.