How to Winterize Your Car »
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
All it takes is a little preparation to get your car winter-ready and to keep from getting into an icy situation.
No matter whether an accident involved a freshly licensed teen or an experienced driver, knowing what to do (or not do) is essential to bouncing back.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
Highly recommend! I noticed we had an anti-freeze leak coming from near the back of the engine (NOT GOOD). I thought the job was gonna cost more than the car is worth - but luckily it wasn't what I thought it was. My wife remembered that one of her co-workers had been raving about the auto repair shop he'd been using for many years (B&W). I called two or three other places first (but none of them seemed to know what the problem could be & all suggested bringing it in for a diagnosis - extra money - no thanks). I then called "B&W" & spoke to "Bobby" (the owner - a very friendly guy). I described the problem & w/out hesitation - he said it was likely a "cracked intake manifold" (common for the '98 Mustang 4.6L GT). Ford, in their wisdom, decided to use plastic (which breaks) - when they should've used metal... Fortunately, they learned from their mistake & all the new after-market intake manifolds have been redesigned with METAL - to prevent CRACKING (& come w/a limited lifetime warranty). So, Bobby fixed us up w/a brand new intake manifold - (at a price we feel was very reasonable - considering the complexity of the job & the time/labor involved). I have to say, these guys must be magicians because the Mustang is purring like a kitten & is running better than it has in YEARS! It took them a few days to complete the job (Bobby told me it was taking them a little longer than he'd anticipated). I'm now wondering if it's because they spent a little extra time making a few "other" adjustments - to really get her dialed in? All I can say is - I'm impressed! I don't know if I can recall a time when an auto repair shop exceeded my expectations (it's rare). Good auto mechanics are VERY hard to FIND!!! They showed me my old intake manifold & where the crack was & did not try to up-sell me on anything that wasn't necessary... I even asked if any of our other fluids needed to be changed (Brake, Power Steering, Transmission) - & he said they all looked to be okay. I'm truly amazed at how well the car is running! Bobby, if you're reading this - thank you again!!! If we need other work done - I KNOW WHO to call now.
I took my car to my mechanic. He diagnosed a couple of mechanical and one electrical repair and gave me a price. Problem was he couldn't get it in until Monday. It's my daughter's car that she needs for work and along with the needed repairs the insp. sticker had expired 2 days prior. So I needed it done asap. I showed up at the Chesapeake location Friday morning at 8am w/out an appt. they called me 2 hours later with what they found and a price. They didn't know about my other mechanic already checking it out. They came up w/the same repairs he had and a price actually $20 cheaper. Once I gave them the go ahead they said they'd get started and call me when ready. An hour later it was done! I was home with the car repaired and inspected within 3 1/2 hours of showing up at their shop. They were fast, thorough and very professional. I'll definitely look to them for any future repairs I need on any of our vehicles. I appreciate their honest, prompt and professional service in an industry littered with shops wiiling to rip others off for our hard earned money.
Tack Auto and Diesel is now my go-to shop! I have a 1993 Dodge D250 that needed overdrive repair.. Ended up being a major headache and costing me lots of money with limited return. This include 2 dealerships and on small shop. The most expensive repair, ~ $3000.00 ended up being a wrong diagnoses. In the end I had to figure it out myself...bottom line is the actual fix was about $40.00! (~$3040). Then my truck started leaking oil so I took it to another shop and after about a month they still had not found the leak (see Back Bay Diesel and Performance review). Anyway, someone at Advance Auto told me about Tack Auto and Diesel with real high recommendations. Wow what a difference in service and professionalism. Dealers are out for the new sale, replace major assemblies and don't put much effort into older truck repair. A lot of small shops are into the fast buck putting bling on trucks. Sal (Tack) is a Master Mechanic that does serious work at the highest competence. Thanks Sal, R/Fritz
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.