Do you own a car? Do you know what to do when you take it to the car mechanic? Is he telling you the truth, or is he trying to cheat you? See below for 13 tips from Reader’s Digest. Please note: I take no credit for this.
1. “Watch out for scare tactics. Admonitions like ‘I wouldn’t drive this another mile’ should be viewed with suspicion.”
2. “Check for ASE [National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence] or AAA [American Automobile Association] certification, as well as a state license. Reputable shops are proud to display them.”
3. “Ask, ask, ask. For recommendations, years in business, warranties offered, licenses, and the type of equipment used. Look for a clean garage. A floor cluttered with empty oil cans, worn tires, and dirty rags is a red flag.”
4. “Never sign a blank authorization form. Always get a signed work order with a specific estimate for each job and warranties that apply.”
5. “It’s nuts to take a car with engine problems to a shop without a good engine analyzer and scan tool. Any mechanic who says ‘I don’t need fancy equipment’ should be avoided.”
6. “Synthetic motor oils may cost more, but you’ll get a lot more miles between changes.”
7. “When you go for a second opinion, don’t tell the mechanic what the first diagnosis and price were.”
8. “Coolant flushes and power steering flushes are very common gimmicks at quick lubes. Check your owner’s manual; many cars have fluid that is designed to go 100,000 miles. And cleaning fuel injectors is a waste of time and money. There are additives on the market that do a great job.”
9. “Always ask for OE [original equipment] brake pads or at least equivalent material. A $49.95 brake job will usually get you the worst friction material you can buy-it’s the difference between stopping short and causing a pileup on the way to work.”
10. “Ask about your new tire’s ‘build date.’ If you’re getting an unusually good deal, you might be receiving three-year-old treads, especially risky for snow tires.”
11. “Lifetime mufflers? What would ever make you think a muffler will last a lifetime? Yes, they’ll give you free replacements, but they’ll hit you over the head for expensive pipe repairs.”
12. “Consult your dealer before you have work done on a catalytic converter or emissions parts. Some of these items carry a very long warranty, and free replacement is often required by law.”
13. “It’s not okay for your ‘check engine’ light to stay on all the time. It’s probably not ‘a loose gas cap.'”
Pretty self explanatory. You should try it out sometimes. (actually, don’t, we don’t recommend it)
In this day and age gas is on just about everyone’s minds, especially with consistent rising prices. I personally have a few ways of saving on gas, but nothing concrete or enough to actually save me some decent money. Here are 13 ways to significantly reduce your gas costs, brought to you by the great folks at About.com:
1: Choice of car. Granted this is very limited for people, 4 door sedans are usually the best bet, and cheaper than the popular SUV pick.
2: Upkeep. Believe it or not, if your car is in bad condition it can increase the gas use by up to 25%.
3: Steel-belted radial tires. They can actually pay for themselves in short time and decrease gas consumption by 10%
4: Gas tier. From the horses mouth itself, having a good friend with several Mobil franchises, I know now that unless your manual specifically states you need a certain level of gas, for example premium or unleaded, get the cheapest one. They’re all the same, save for differences most cars won’t notice.
5: Tire pressure. Every pound of under inflation causes up to 6% more gas usage.
6: Don’t top of your gas tank when pumping gas. Stop when it tells you to.
7: Don’t idle your car to warm it up. Running the engine makes it warm up faster, I also can confirm this. It works wonders on the way to work! I just bundle up before opening the garage door. 🙂
8: Combine your errands. Take the time it takes to drive between destinations each time you come and go from your home, and plan your trips out to save the gas of traveling from home often. This is probably the one you’ll remember and use the most.
9: Accelerate gently. Putting the pedal to the medal will burn your tires, and a hole in your pocket.
10: Watch traffic jams carefully. Plan your stop-and-goes.
11: Coast to stopped traffic ahead of you and apply brakes gradually. Don’t speed up and slam on the brakes.
12: Speed limits are there for more than you think! Driving faster, i.e.: 70 MPH takes more gas than 50 MPH.
13: Maintain a steady speed on the highway. Avoid slowing down and speeding up to match other cars. Cruise control is your friend! Careful not to fall asleep though.
God speed and Best wishes.