Car ownership is liberating. You may go anywhere you desire and do what you want, when you want. This does mean that it could break down at bad times and leave you stranded. Use the following tips to get up and running again. Preventative maintenance is very important if you own a car. Do not hesitate to spend money on the tools you need to inspect and maintain your car or having a mechanic look Going In this article at your car regularly. Maintaining your car regularly could help you save a lot on repairs or towing if your car breaks down. See if you can predetermine your vehicles issue prior to attending at the mechanics. Knowing what your car needs can help you avoid being talked into repairs it doesnt need. An unscrupulous mechanic may exaggerate the problem or diagnose nonexistent ones to charge you more. Keep well-organized records on your car. You should have readily available records of everything in regards to maintaining your car when seeing a mechanic. Well-organized records can help them diagnose an issue correctly the first time. Unorganized records may lead to repeat repairs and lots of wasted money and time. Never leave anything in your car when dropping it off for repairs. The mechanic might have to remove certain items, and they wont be liable if it goes missing. Take everything out of the trunk as well. When you are in need of an auto repair, shop around to make sure that you get the best deal. Go to at least three different repair shops to get a quote. If anyone charges something that is unrealistically low or high, you should seek someone else to do the job. When you top off your motor oil, avoid spilling oil on your engine by wadding up a couple of paper towels around the oil receptacle on the crank-case. This will absorb drips and spills. Be sure to dispose of your empty oil container and the paper towels responsibly when finished adding oil. Also know that doing the auto repairs yourself can prove rather dangerous. You need someone assisting you so that there is an emergency plan in place. Buy only the highest quality tools that will last and not break under pressure. This is very true for things such as tire changing tools. Also, buy a strong jack in case you need to prop your car up in an emergency. Approved jack stands, working in conjunction with a high quality hydraulic floor jack, are the best tools for tire changes. Check the tire pressure each time you fill up on gas. Look at your tires and ensure that theres nothing stuck on them. If anything is wrong with your tires, the problem needs to be addressed quickly. Its dangerous to drive on faulty tires. Always keep some tail light tape around. You could get pulled over and get a ticket for a broken tail light. You should remove the light from your vehicle, replace the light-bulb if you need to and wrap the whole light in tape. This is a temporary fix but it is better than driving with a broken light. Always ask for an estimate in writing before you agree to have any work done. This way, if the shop tries to charge you more later you will have the estimate to prove what you had agreed on. Some shops do this on a regular basis, so be sure to protect yourself by getting it in writing. Do not ignore unusual noises you hear when driving. Clunks, screeches, clicks and pings are usually caused by loose parts. Take your car to a trustworthy mechanic and describe the noise as best as you can. Your mechanic will probably replace or adjust the parts that were causing the noise. Be sure to keep the area where you are working on your car free of hazards. Keep your tools and spare parts picked up so that you and others will not trip over them. Be sure to work in an area with good ventilation so that you wont be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping. Many people have had bad experiences with auto repair, but you dont have to be one of them. All of the dangers and pitfalls associated with auto repair can be eliminated when using the tips from this article. Youll be able to drive your vehicle once again and not have to go through trouble to do it.