Auto repair is a topic in which many people are not very knowledgeable. Therefore, they usually turn to professional auto repair shops and mechanics. Although these professionals can help fix any problems your car is having, they often come at a hefty price. Because of this, you need to know some basic advice on how to select the best shops and mechanics that will do the best job at the lowest cost. You also need to know how to resolve small issues yourself so that you do not spend your hard-earned money when it is not necessary. Thankfully, this article is here to help. Familiarize yourself with the dashboard of your car. Your dashboard should display five different kinds of warning, including the check engine light, oil pressure warning, an alternator warning, a temperature warning and a brake warning. Learn to recognize these different lights so you can easily identify what needs your attention. If you are having work done on your car, make sure you get a written estimate beforehand. The estimate should include what is being repaired, the parts that will be needed and the anticipated cost for labor. It should also say that they will call for your approval before doing any additional work which exceeds the amount or time specified. Keep your cars owner manual handy. Knowing vital car information can really help when something unexpected occurs. If you know your cars controls, you may even avoid a trip to a mechanic. If you do need a mechanic, you should have the make, model, and trim level available so that they can figure out things like your transmission configuration, size, etc. much quicker. Keep accurate records on what work has been done on your car and when. Many repair shops will keep this information for you, but that only works if you see them for everything for major breakdowns to oil changes. This can help in diagnosing problems, as you can show what fixes have already been attempted. Take your vehicle to a full service car wash a couple times a year for an extensive cleaning, inside and out. This removes most of the soil and helps preserve the interior of your car. This can pay off when you want to sell or trade your car in for a newer one. Know the basics. If you have to take your car into the shop, be prepared to let them know what the make and model of your car is. Also, the actual trim level is important as it will give the technician more information about the engine, transmission and anything else that may be important. If you need new tires, do not get used ones from a garage or a junk yard. Used tires are not a good choice since they might be worn thin or have already been patched. Brand new tires are expensive but they are a good investment and will help you remain safe. Make sure to ask the mechanic who is about to work on your car whether or not he is certified. If the answer is no, leave right away and get someone else to do the repairs. If he says that he is, ask for some type of proof so you know this true. There is a good way to save money if day car insurance you are willing to take a risk. Instead of taking your car to a repair shop, take it to the local vocational school. This will save you money and can give you just as good a job on your car. Dont be afraid of looking silly when you take your car into a shop. Ask plenty of questions. Make sure you know what is going on. You deserve to understand what is happening with your car, and a good technician will not mind your questions. The knowledge may come in handy in the future. Take your owners manual with you when you go to the auto repair shop to get work done. If someone tells you that you need to get a service after a certain amount of miles, check and see if that matches what is in the manual. If it does not, let them know that you decline that particular service. Car problems can mean just about anything, but it doesnt necessarily mean you are going to be spending tons of money on the repair. Quite often, you can fix basic issues by yourself. Just make sure the tips that have been laid out here are followed if you want to get your automobile up and running once again.