When Angie Angerman’s 12-year-old Dodge Magnum died last year, it wasn’t just a hassle and financial hit. It was a disaster, upending everything in her precariously balanced life.

As a single mother of two, who works part-time while juggling classes at Santa Rosa Junior College, she couldn’t come even close to paying $1,000 to get the car back on the road.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

She was forced to get up at 5:30 in the morning to get her 2 1/2-year-old daughter to day care by 8 a.m. The journey entailed a trip from her Rincon Valley bus stop to the Downtown Transit Mall, where she would then have to wait an hour for a county bus to get her to the day care. She would then have to wait another 45 minutes for a bus that would get her to Santa Rosa Junior College. She would have to do it in reverse at the end of the day.

Weekends were even worse. She had to get to her job as assistant manager for a storage facility on Sebastopol Road but also get her daughter to a day care downtown, with fewer buses running. She found herself frequently walking and losing weight.

“I was spending four to six hours on the bus every day. I’m grateful for public transit, but it’s hard to do anything when you’re a parent and you’ve got to work and go to school to survive,” she said. “I felt like I was doing all this work and I couldn’t get a break.”

But relief came when a counselor at CalWORKS, which oversees a welfare to work program for single parents at Santa Rosa Junior College, told her about a little-known auto shop on Santa Rosa Avenue that repairs cars for free for single mothers working hard to pull themselves out of poverty.

For the past year, SAL Auto has operated largely under the radar. It is the brainchild of Matthew Nalywaiko, a 35-year-old Santa Rosa man who for the past eight years has dedicated his entrepreneurship to help others. In 2009, he founded a local nonprofit he called Serve a Little, which marshaled an army of professional tradesmen, mechanics and skilled handymen, to help low-income single mothers and military wives with home and auto repairs. The organization also took donated cars and refurbished them for needy moms.

“We were spread very thin being an all-volunteer organization. We leaned toward the greatest need and the greatest need was automotive repair, particularly for single moms,” said Nalywaiko,

Without working wheels a young mom barely making ends meet can’t get kids to school and day care, to jobs, medical appointments and college classes to lift themselves out of poverty. So he shifted gears and set about figuring out how to keep more struggling mothers mobile.

He put together a business plan for his vision of a nonprofit car repair shop, that would use the proceeds from full-paying clients to subsidize free repair work for qualifying single moms. A man in commercial real estate who Nalywaiko met in a yoga class heard about the project and offered to buy a building and lease it back to the non-profit at a huge discount to get the shop going. Then a whole village of benefactors stepped forward to renovate a former motorcycle shop on Santa Rosa Avenue into an enviable auto shop stocked with professional tools, lifts and four bays.

SAL is a full service auto repair shop, open to the public. On the outside, it doesn’t look any different than any other car repair shop. But on the walls inside are the painted words, “We Keep Single Mothers Moving Forward.”

“There was a study done, and it takes about three hours to go less than 20 miles anywhere in Sonoma County. If you think of a single mom who is trying to go to school, trying to get her kids to school, do the grocery shopping, run the errands and go to work, all on a bus, that just makes your long day even longer,” Nalywaiko said. “And these moms who are on the social service side of it have these vehicles that are just barely running. And most of the time when those cars die they just won’t be able to afford to fix them.”

Angerman said when she picked up her car from SAL, fully operational and at no charge, she was completely overcome.

“I started crying. They had just saved my life” she said. “Here I was feeling this despair, almost hopelessness, and then this amazing act of kindness.”

At the moment SAL works exclusively through the CalWORKS program at Santa Rosa Junior College and the YWCA, agencies equipped to screen potential recipients. So far the shop has been able to do several free repair jobs a month. As paying business increases, they are hoping to hire more mechanics to add to the one full-time and one part-time mechanic already on staff, giving them the ability to serve even more needy mothers. SAL is equipped to do most all types of repair work on every make of vehicle, as well as routine maintenance required of manufacturer’s warranties.

“Ultimately we would love to have 10 to 15 cars a week coming through here for single moms,” Nalywaiko said.

Amy Ethington, who oversees CalWORKS program at Santa Rosa Junior College, said success for students under her program hinges on transportation. If they can’t get to class, their benefits are in jeopardy.

“It can really change their whole approach to education. If you can’t get here, the anxiety goes through the roof for our students. The expense alone to maintain a vehicle can be astronomical. To our students who are parenting and going to school with a very fixed budget, thinking about the expense of car repairs on top of that is frightening.”

When Nalywaiko started investigating the idea, he was unable to find any comparable model in the country. Many mechanics will do some pro bono work. And there are organizations that donate cars, like Santa Rosa’s Crozat Family Foundation, which provides free cars to needy people who have “hit a pothole in the road of life,” as they say. But Nalywaiko could not find any shop in the country that was run by the same model, with paying customers subsidizing the charity work.

Nalywaiko at first didn’t get a lot of encouragement from accountants that he consulted. It was the CFO for Visiquate, the Santa Rosa company that Nalywaiko works for doing video production and marketing, who figured it out, based on his years of experience in nonprofit work.

Visiquate has supported his work for years, paying him essentially a full-time salary for part-time work, which gives him the time to run SAL Auto.

His teammate in life and on the job is wife Amanda, who runs the office. She brings a unique set of skills. She has a master’s degree in social work and has been a social worker for both the county and the YWCA, so she knows the turf from a social service standpoint. Her office is equipped with baby gear for their daughter Kadence, 8 months, who comes to work with mom and dad. The pair met when Amanda volunteered with Serve a Little.

“I’ve always had a passion for this work. But having Kadence really puts things in perspective,” she said. “I see how hard it to is raise her with a partner. Some of our women have families or close friends to help but sometimes they’re just on their own.”

The pair share a passion for helping others. They both laugh that their couple quarrels are always heated exchanges over the best ways to serve.’

It took a large team of volunteers, benefactors, and in-kind donors to transform the space into a full-service auto repair shop.

“We ended up doing the entire remodel for under $100,000,” said Nalywaiko, which for a shop this size is completely unheard of.”

Northern Pacific Power Systems donated 52 solar panels and the electrical work. MKM & Associates of Santa Rosa donated their services for the structural engineering. Nunley Engineering of Santa Rosa pulled together a team of companies to provide the asphalt and gravel.

Many of the professionals and businesses that help make it happen are friends of Nalywaiko, or connected in some way.

“People want to help. They want to give,” he said. “They just need the opportunity.”

A key player is chief mechanic Bill Paterson, who ran his own shop for more than 30 years a few doors down. He had long volunteered for the old Serve a Little. When the organization shifted to auto repair only, he closed down his business and rolled his tool cases over to SAL, bringing loyal customers with him. Paterson has a soft spot for single mothers. His own mom raised three kids on her own and when he met his wife years ago, she was a single mother with two toddlers.

He believes giving back is what we’re meant to do in life.

He recalls one single mom who was staying in the battered women’s shelter with her two kids, trying to get on her feet.. She was just getting ready to start a new job with her alternator blew and the car died.

“It was about a $400 repair. When she came in to pick up her car and we gave her the copy of the work order for her records she said, ‘Well how much do I owe you?’ I said ‘Serve a Little paid for the whole thing.’ She just broke down in tears and gave me a hug.”

Paterson said the cars that come in for pro bono work are typically old and very run down. Routine maintenance takes a backseat to rent, utilities and food. Once Paterson gets a car running, he gets the owner on a maintenance schedule to keep it going. SAL continues to accept used cars and refurbishes them for need moms.

Nalywaiko, who struggled with dyslexia and ADD growing up, wondered as a young man how he would ever find a place in the world. Now he feels comfortable that he has found his calling.

He also works with a service project he created, “80 for Haiti,” which raised money to build schools the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It takes $80,000 to build a school for 400 students. Nalywaiko provides the support and oversight team but hires locals to do the work, providing them income and skills-building.

He also did volunteer work in hospitals and orphanages in India and helped build houses in Mexico.

“I saw how much of the world lives and I couldn’t just go back to a regular 9 to 5 job,” he said. “We have a responsibility, once we recognize there is a need, to give back to it.”

He said his favorite quote is from Martin Luther King, Jr: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” It has become his credo.

“It’s really wanting to live a life of more meaning and purpose than myself,” he said. “And you don’t have to travel to other countries to do mission work to help people. The needs are right here, in our own community.”

Source

Patrice Banks is the genius entrepreneur who is also the owner of Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia, PA. In response to a national problem of women being taking advantage of at many auto repair shops owned by men, Patrice launched her company to give women a better and more comfortable experience.

A new approach

Unlike traditional shops that often rip off their female customers, the staff at Girls Auto Clinic take time to go over each step with their customers. They also host free monthly workshops teaching simple, straightforward lessons and tips on car maintenance.

But here’s what really makes them unique: While waiting for their car to get serviced, there is an on-site beauty parlor where customers can get their hair and nails done!

Coming up with the idea

Patrice says that she once got ripped off at an auto repair shop, and immediately recognized what happened to her a potential business opportunity. She quit her job as an engineer, took night classes to become an auto mechanic, and then opened up her own shop with other “auto gals”.

Currently, only 2% of all auto mechanics in the United States are women.

Satisfied customers

“I want to see more of these types of auto shops,” said one customer.

“It’s fabulous,” said another customer. “It’s the best combination to get my nails done while waiting for my car!”

For more details about the company, visit www.girlsautoclinic.com or visit their location at:

Girls Auto Clinic
7425 West Chester Pike
Upper Darby, PA 19082

Watch their story below on NBC Nightly News:

Source

Has your car broken down recently? If so, you are probably in need of some repair. Depending on your problem however, it may be in your best interest to tackle the problem yourself. The following article will teach you everything you need to know about making your own auto repairs.

Be sure your mechanic has an A.S.E. certification prior to letting them fix your car. This type of certification means two years experience and also a passed written test. This is a good way of finding a qualified mechanic who will care about doing a good job so they can keep their certification.

Check the fluids in your car regularly. Check the oil level with the dipstick you can find under your hood. The dipstick should have a mark on it to indicate the ideal oil level. Add a quart of oil if you need to and check the level again after letting your car run for a few minutes.

You do not have to contact a mechanic every time you have issues with your car. Some car repairs are easy to do yourself. Research into auto repair online may help you identify the problem. If the job is not complicated, make the repairs yourself to save money.

Protect your car from water damage. Take the time to make sure all windows and doors are properly closed. Keep your car on higher ground if you live in an area that’s easily flooded. If you have sandbags, build a wall around your car. Don’t drive in areas with high water levels. Don’t start your car if it’s been exposed to flood waters.

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.

Do not use all kinds of extra key chains with your keys. Ignitions are not meant to hold so much weight. If your key begins to stick, you need to replace your tumblers and get rid of your favorite troll buddy that is weighing down your keychain!

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.

If you need to fix a scratch or paint over an area, make sure you select the right color. Check the owner’s manual to see if you can find a code for the color of your car or look for a sticker located under the hood or on the driver’s side front door to find the color code.

Compare prices among your local auto body repair shops before you decide which on to choose. Even though labor charges are pretty uniform, the amount of time that each shop believes the repair could take could vary, as well as what they will charge you for the parts. Be sure to shop around so that you get the best deal possible.

Take the time to learn about car part classifications before seeing a mechanic. Parts can be new, refurbished, or salvaged. “New” means the part was made to the manufacturer’s specs, by the maker or by an independent retailer. Re-manufactured, rebuilt and reconditioned happen to be parts that have been restored to a decent working condition. Salvaged parts are those that have some wear and tear to them.

Don’t postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car’s individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.

Do not fall prey to the notion that you have to get a tune-up at any specific time. Every car is different, and the manufacturer will indicate when you should bring the vehicle in to the shop. By following that schedule, your car is much more likely to run well.

Keep your car manual in your car. In fact, keep the manual and any other documentation your car may have, including details on past repairs, tune-ups and more. The more data points your auto repair shop has to look into an issue, the better chance that they’ll be able to give you a strong idea about what is going on with your car.

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Keep this in mind when you are having parts replaced on your vehicle. Your mechanic will consider you as a knowledgeable customer if you ask for OEM parts. An unscrupulous mechanic may think better of trying to pass used parts off onto you.

When looking for a reputable automotive repair facility, only consider certified repair shops. Certifications, such as the seal for Automotive Service Excellence, are an indication that the shop has demonstrated a basic level of competence in the field of automobile repair. While such certifications are never an absolute guarantee of good service, the odds are much higher when the establishment is certified.

Request that the shop doing your auto repairs only use original equipment manufacturer, or O.E.M., parts. The additional cost compared to generic components is worth the investment in the long run. You can expect optimal performance and increased vehicle longevity when you choose parts specifically made for your car rather than generic.

Making repairs on your car yourself can be a bit nerve wracking, especially if you have never done it before. However, if you apply the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you won’t be successful. Not only will it feel great to do it yourself, but you’ll save lots of money too!

Do you need vehicle repairs but like to avoid hassles? Getting the right work done on your car can be exhausting before you ever see a mechanic. It’s hard to know the right place to take your car, or to know if you can do the repair yourself. Take some time to read the tips ahead to learn what you can do for your vehicle.

Take advantage of free inspections, but don’t just have them fix everything on the list. There will probably be one or two extra items added on that aren’t strictly necessary. If you are light on cash, ask the technician which items are the most important to keep the car running safely. Get these done immediately, and save up for the rest of the work.

Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend. No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.

If your car door and hatch locks tend to become stiff, avoid breaking your key off in the lock by lubricating them periodically with a penetrating oil spray. You can use the plastic extender that comes with the spray can to deliver oil to the interior of the locking mechanism. If you have misplaced this extender, just spray your key liberally and turn it in the stiff lock several times.

Ask a technician if they are A.S.E. certified before you agree to have them work on your vehicle. If they have this certification, it means they have passed a written test and have worked in the industry for at least 2 years. You will know that you are getting someone skilled by choosing someone with this.

If you feel pressured by the garage or dealership you visit to get your car maintained or repaired, do not hesitate to leave. Reliable mechanics will not put any pressure on their customers and will focus on providing quality service. Follow your gut feeling and stay away from the mechanics who do not seem trustworthy.

The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.

Don’t ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.

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.

If you are planning a road trip, make sure that you go and have your car serviced. Plan it a little ahead so you are not rushing to get it done at the last minute. Even if your car feels fine, you want to make sure that you will make it to your destination and back with no issues.

Many auto repair shops will tell you that you need your fuel injectors replaced when you do not. This is a way to get some more money from you. The proper time to replace them is after every 35,000 miles of driving. If anyone tells you that it needs to be done sooner, look for someone else to do your auto repairs.

Keep an eye on the wet puddles under your car. Color and consistency may help you figure out the issue. If it’s pastel blue, yellow-green or fluorescent-orange, it may be an antifreeze leak due to a bad hose, leaking radiator, or water pump, or an overheated engine. Dark brown or black oily puddles can mean a bad gasket or seal is causing the leak. Red oily puddles are usually caused by a power-steering or transmission fluid leak. Clear puddles usually aren’t anything to worry about, as they may be condensation from the vehicle.

Do not fall prey to the notion that you have to get a tune-up at any specific time. Every car is different, and the manufacturer will indicate when you should bring the vehicle in to the shop. By following that schedule, your car is much more likely to run well.

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 won’t be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping.

Pay attention to your check engine light! If one of your warning lights is illuminated, take that as a warning! Don’t neglect it! The warning lights on your dashboard are designed to give you early notification of potential problems. By taking your car to an auto repair shop as soon as one of these lights is lit, you can nip the problem in the bud!

Probably the most important component of your vehicle is the brakes. Without them, you are not going to be able to drive. If they are damaged, this can be extremely dangerous for you. Therefore, whenever you experience brake problems, immediately see a mechanic to have them replaced. To do this yourself, you must use rubber boots to remove the bolts and loosen the brake pads. Then, install new brakes. However, if you are not comfortable doing this, it is best to see a mechanic. You do not want to take chances when it comes to brakes.

The confusion and discomfort of car repairs can leave you wanting to purchase a new vehicle. Take the time to make use of the suggestions and ideas in this piece. You will find that repairs for your car are not so tough to face. Keep your vehicle longer and enjoy it more through this valued advice.

Auto repair can be a very confusing topic, particularly if you have not worked much with vehicles in the past. It is not that hard, though, if you arm yourself with the right information. That is what this article is all about. Keep reading to discover some auto repairs that you can do yourself to save money.

Be wary of unscrupulous mechanics who make unnecessary repairs to your vehicle. Work should never be performed without your permission, but a good mechanic may point out upcoming repairs that are necessary. Don’t trust a mechanic who has done repairs without asking.

Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.

Do not hover over the technician while they are trying to do work on your car. It is important that you spend time with them to explain what the problem is with your vehicle, but once you have done that, leave them alone so they can do their job without any interruptions.

You ought to always have a spare and a jack in the car. Newer cars almost always have them. Having these items will allow you to change a tire and get back on the road quickly, which is helpful when you are stuck in a dangerous location. Changing that tire yourself can save you the cost of towing.

Fixing a headlight or a taillight by yourself is very easy. Some vehicles make it easier to do, but it’s cheaper than getting a mechanic to do it. Ask whether someone you know can show you how to fix it.

Ask your auto mechanic about their A.S.E. certification. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence has a test twice a year for it. To earn this certification, mechanics must pass a written test while also having about two years of work experience in auto mechanics and repair. This certification increases your chances of finding competent mechanics.

Don’t ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.

Whenever you fill your gas tank, check the pressure of your tires. Verify that there are no nails or debris sticking out. If you notice a problem with your tires, get it fixed immediately. You never want to drive on bad tires.

When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.

Keep your auto repair shops business card in your car at all times. You never know when something could go wrong with your vehicle. You’ll want your favorite auto shop’s phone number handy, though, when it does. Another option is to program all of their contact information in your phone.

There is nothing routine about flushing your engine. It’s a costly process which is unnecessary unless you’re abusing your car.

Be wary of auto repair shops that try to pressure you into getting repairs done. You may go into a shop for one thing, and the mechanic will tell you that you have other problems. It’s fine if a mechanic informs you of any possible work that may need to be done, but when they try to turn it into a requirement, rather than an option, it’s time to find a new mechanic.

Have you heard of the term OEM? Well, OEM is a term used to describe car components that come from the original manufacturer. Ask for OEM parts if you need some new parts for your vehicle. You sound better educated on repairs if you ask your mechanic to use OEM parts. This will make it less likely that the mechanic will attempt to install parts that have been previously used.

Without knowing where your car problems lie, repairing your car is impossible. Therefore, you must be able to recognize problems when they arise. For example, if your car belt has cracks in the perpendicular edge, or pieces fall out, you need to replace it immediately. Failing to recognize problems on time can lead to permanent damage to your car; therefore, recognize and resolve these problems as soon as you can.

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.

Get yourself an AAA membership. AAA members have an inside track on where to get auto repairs and can often have their car towed for free. In many cases, you’ll even find that AAA membership reduces your overall auto repair expenses thanks to member discounts.

Pay close attention to your car while you are parked at a service station while traveling. There are many people that will do damage to your car then claim they can help you fix it for a fee. If you are traveling with someone, make sure that one of you stays in the car at all times.

A little knowledge about older vehicles and common issues could have you forewarned about potential problems. And this could lessen the number of times you need to visit a mechanic. You can learn about simple auto repair by remembering the tips provided in this article. Remember these tips when your car acts up!

For many people, their automobile is virtually an extension of their own body, it is such an integral part of each and every day. Perhaps you are one such person. Thus, when car problems emerge, it is important to secure quality, reliable auto repair service. By heeding the advice that follows, you will have the necessary tools to make certain your car is up and running properly in no time at all.

Check the tread on your tires regularly to make sure they are safe. Tires that have less than one quarter of an inch of tread probably need to be replaced. Also be aware of any bulges or cuts on the surface of your tires as this may indicate a weak area that could blow out and cause an accident while you are driving.

Always ask lots of questions when you take your car to get repaired. Don’t let the mechanic intimidate you. Ask why something needs to be fixed or how it will be done. If the mechanic tries to brush you off, doesn’t look at you, or refuses to answer your questions, consider taking your car to someone else.

Get referrals to find a great auto mechanic. Ask the people you know for their recommendations. You can find out about a mechanics quality of work, their price, and overall satisfaction. You’ll get a real feel for the experience and the honesty of the mechanic.

When searching for an auto repair shop, you should choose one that specializes in the brand of vehicle you have. While there are probably many trustworthy shops in your area, going with one specializing in your car makes it more likely that the technician knows what they are doing. They will also probably have many parts needed for your car.

Independent garages and mechanics are usually much cheaper than dealerships. You might get a discount at your dealership if you purchased your car recently but do not make a habit of going to your dealership if you find their prices too expensive. Find out about local independent garages with a good reputation instead.

Follow your car’s tune up schedule. Each car is different, and that means each has different needs. A tune up schedule for one will not be the same for another. Look into your car manual for details on a proper tune-up schedule for your model. Otherwise, you could have more problems in the future.

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.

Make sure you know where your owner’s manual is and use it! If there is a problem with your car, you will be lost without it. Sometimes, an issue is simply a result of a lack of understanding. Pick it up, read through it, and see if you can figure out what is going on.

Look to the Better Business Bureau and local consumer advocate groups for more information on the auto repair shop you are considering. You’ll want to search everywhere for potential knowledge on this service center before you plop down the big bucks on a costly repair. Often these organizations will have a lot of great intelligence for you to consider.

Understand the billing process at the auto repair shop you go to. In many cases, you could get a bill for labor based on how long the manufacturer thinks it will take to repair your car. Be clear about how it works at whatever shop you take your car to.

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.

Keep detailed records of all the repairs you did on your vehicle and ask the previous owners if they can provide you with their records. If you need to have a mechanic diagnose a problem, show them your records. Your mechanic will recognize recurring issues and know not to waste time on parts that have been replaced recently.

Find out about labor rates before you let a mechanic work on your car. You should have your mechanic diagnose the issues and assess how much work will be needed. Make sure you understand how the mechanic will bill you and have a manager give you an estimate of how much labor time is needed instead of trusting a technician who is not responsible for giving quotes.

Consistency is key in the auto repair world. Take your vehicle to the same auto shop once you have found a good one. By shopping around different mechanics, you won’t get consistency regarding what your car really needs. The amount that they charge can be different and may cost you more.

Be sure to request a written cost estimate for all repair work to be done on your automobile. The estimate must identify the specific work to be done, as well as what the repairs will cost you. It is essential that the estimate is signed by a representative of the company.

Take a little time to educate yourself on your cars specific make and model. If you understand how it works, you might not always need to pay for a mechanic to fix things. This saves tons of money over time.

Given its significant function in your daily life, your car is almost another member of your family. When breakdowns occur, you want to be certain your car is getting the attention and care it deserves. If you keep the above tips close by at all times, you will never be at a loss when it comes to getting the repair work your car needs.

Auto repairs can be intimidating if you have no prior experience with the topic. Luckily, this advice can give you a head start. Reading this article is a start to auto repair wisdom, which will help to save money.

Make sure you get quality parts to fix your car. You can usually get better prices if you get used parts from a junk yard but there is no way of knowing how long these parts will last. Do not hesitate to spend more on brand new parts that come with a guarantee.

Ask all the questions you have at the shop. You can use this time to tell them about the problems you have and to get answers as to what needs to be done. Preventative measures will save you a whole lot of money in the long run.

Schedule yourself extra time for free checkups, especially if you are going in on a weekend. No matter how early you get in, there are only so many bays in the garage. That means that your car may have to wait for a few paying clients before it gets looked at.

Read the manual for your car and make notes of important pages. When you visit a car shop, mechanics will need to know particular information about your car. You can find the information you need to know in your owner’s manual.

Always keep records each time your car is repaired. Whenever another issue crops up, it is most helpful for your technician to take a look at this document. If you don’t have these records, you could pay lots more money and it can be harder to figure out where the issues is.

Do not make the mistake of having someone fix your vehicle just because the amount they charge is cheaper than everyone else. Many times the low prices make up for the lack in quality work. Doing research on the repair shop in question will help you decide if that is the case here.

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.

Don’t get sucked into to the lure of aftermarket parts for new cars. You want your baby to run as well as possible for as long as possible, and that means spending the extra to get parts that match the ones already in your car. Trying to get that clunker to run just a few more miles? Save the money and take the aftermarket versions.

Rotate your car tires every 6,000 miles or at every other oil change. Rotating your tires on a set schedule helps ensure that they wear evenly, and thus last longer. Your car will also be easier to drive, as unbalanced tires can lead to the car pulling to one side or the other.

Make sure that your technician has the proper certification. Particularly, make sure they are approved by the NIAE and other licensing boards. This will tell you if they are properly trained and will provide you with quality service.

If you cannot afford to get your vehicle fixed, get in touch with local vocational schools that train mechanics. You pay a greatly reduced rate for the repairs in return for allowing students to work on your car while under the supervision of a licensed mechanic.

Prior to allowing an auto repair shop to fix your car, get a written estimate of how much everything will cost. While the actual total may vary, this will give you some idea of what to expect. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. It is important to be knowledgeable when it comes to what is happening with your car.

When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.

When it comes to the brakes on your car,the last thing you want to do is to let it go. Pay attention immediately to any unusual noise or change in pressure when you apply the brakes. The sooner you deal with the issue, the less severe it will be, saving you money as well alleviating safety concerns.

Learn to recognize potential problems before they happen. Learning this and the other tips here will help you get familiar with basic auto repair. Remember these tips when your car acts up!

If you own a car, you have probably been in need of a repair at some point. Finding the right repair shop or mechanic can be a nightmare. They are notoriously dishonest and often overcharge you for their work. Luckily, the following article has some great tips with regards to finding a great auto repair shop.

Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.

When trying to get an estimate for the cost of your auto repairs, ask the technician how they calculate the cost. There are some shops that charge your a flat rate for parts and labors, but others will try and charge you a fee for each hour they spend fixing your car.

If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.

Your car owners manual is actually a valuable guide to the workings of your car. That means that you should not trash it as soon as you leave the dealer. It can tell you everything from what that light on your dash means, to how to perform basic maintenance on your particular model.

The Automotive Service Excellence logo is a sign that you have found a good mechanic. Mechanics have to successfully pass an exam and maintain an excellent record to receive this logo. Not all good mechanics get this certification but you should still try finding a mechanic who is ASE certified.

Look for a good auto repair shop before you actually need auto repairs. This is all about being proactive. When you need them, it’s a major annoyance to have to spend a ton of time searching. It leads to you making poor choices due to the bad situation you’re already in. By choosing a repair shop prior, you can seriously consider your options.

Always research the reputation of any auto repair shop you are considering using to have your car serviced. If you are a AAA member, you can find a list of approved shops on their website. You can also download an app for your smartphone like Repairpal to view ratings for different repair shops.

Become educated on car-part classifications. There are new parts, refurbished parts, and salvaged parts. New parts are made solely to a manufacturer’s specifications. Rebuilt, reconditioned, and re-manufactured are parts which are restored and in good working condition. Salvage parts are used.

Do not fall prey to the notion that you have to get a tune-up at any specific time. Every car is different, and the manufacturer will indicate when you should bring the vehicle in to the shop. By following that schedule, your car is much more likely to run well.

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.

Ask about the warranties associated with any new parts going into your car. Most new parts will include a warranty. If something goes wrong with that part after the repair, you’ll be covered for the replacement. Know how long the warranty is good for and if there are any stipulations tied to it.

When you take your car to an auto repair shop, try to have a good description of the problem. Just telling the mechanic the car is screwed up won’t help him or her to solve the problem. Provide details. You should know how long the problem has existed and when it occurs. Note whether or not dashboard warning lights are illuminated. Describe any sounds, smells or vibrations that accompany the problem.

Ask your auto repair shop for a list of fees before you allow any work to be done on your car. Inquire how much any replacement parts will cost and how long the repair is estimated to take so you know how many hours of labor you will be billed for.

Having read the article above, you should now have a better understanding of how to find a reputable repair shop. It can be a tough task to do, particularly with so many shady ones around. But if you just remember what you have learned here, your car will be in tip-top shape in not time.

Dealing with auto repairs isn’t easy, but it can much easier with the tips and advice you’re about to read. No one wants to find out that their car needs work done. However, it doesn’t have to break your bank or make you want to rip your hair out in the moment.

When you run into car problems, you should first turn to the Internet to learn what the problem could be. You may find that it is an easy to repair problem that you can do on your own. This could save you hundreds of dollars in labor fees if you had to take it to a shop.

When taking your car to a repair service, make sure that you have all documentation handy. This is important as you do not want the mechanic to do tasks that have already been performed on your car. This can help you save a lot of time and money with your repair.

You should always have an emergency kit available in your vehicle. You ought to assemble a kit consisting of tire change tools, battery charger and a gas can. It is also wise to include a flashlight, some fresh batteries and a blanket in case your vehicle breaks down in cold weather or at night.

If your vehicle begins making a louder noise than usual, you should suspect the muffler needs replacing. This is a job best done at a shop because it is difficult to work under a car without a lift. You can get a warning or even a ticket if your muffler sounds too loud.

When hiring a mechanic to repair to automobile, always seek referrals and opinions from friends, family and colleagues you trust. Doing so will ensure that you can find someone who has provided reliable, quality service in the past and provided good value to customers. In this way, you can greatly improve the likelihood that your car will be in good hands, and you will ultimately be satisfied with the work done.

If your vehicle seems to be leaking fluids, start by replacing the gaskets and seals. The most common area for leaks is where different parts join together. You may not need an expensive repair if the leak stems from one of these easily replaceable areas. If the leak continues after replacement, you may have a more extensive leak.

Put the advice that has been discussed here to use as you deal with your vehicle repairs. You will notice that you are much less stressed and actually have a good plan for everything. No longer are you going to suffer through those decisions, wondering if you did the right thing.

Anyone that has a car knows just how aggravating auto repairs can be. You either spend lots of money on having mechanics make repairs or you spend all your energy and time doing it by yourself. Either method can be problematic, but the advice in this article can help you solve your problems more easily.

When you run into car problems, you should first turn to the Internet to learn what the problem could be. You may find that it is an easy to repair problem that you can do on your own. This could save you hundreds of dollars in labor fees if you had to take it to a shop.

Do not take your car to the first mechanic you find. You need to do some research to find a reliable mechanic with fair prices. Ask your friends and family about the mechanics they have been to in the past and check the Internet to find reviews written by other customers.

An emergency kit is a crucial item to have handy in your car. You need tools to change a flat tire, charge a battery, and you must have spare gas. A few blankets, flashlights and spare batteries are also great to have.

Asking around for recommendations is a great opportunity to locate a mechanic you can trust. Get recommendations from family and friends. This lets you ask them about their experiences with that mechanic, how much it cost, and if they were satisfied. You can learn first-hand experiences about the honesty and skill of the mechanic.

Keep on hand all of your car’s documentation. Keep these documents in a solid folder inside your glove compartment. Repair professionals may want to see these records for repair purposes. This can make the process go more smoothly.

Friends and family are a good source when you are looking to get some work done on your car. Ask around to see if anyone can suggest someone to you before you go on your search. Never go with the opinion of one person. Ask a few and see what other answers you get.

There are no standard warranties on repairs. Make sure you are aware of what your warranty covers and that you have it in writing. Warranties may have limitations such as deductibles, mileage, time, businesses authorized to do the warranty work or special steps needed to get reimbursement. Know your warranty rights.

Auto repair isn’t the most thrilling thing in the world, but there are steps you can take to make your experience a whole lot easier. With these tips in hand, your next auto repair experience won’t be so bad. The end result is a better car.