Learning about auto repair may seem overwhelming, however it is much easier than you think. Educating yourself on auto repair can really pay off in dollars and time saved. Read this article for more tips on doing auto repair yourself instead of going to the mechanic every time you have a problem.

Regularly check your radiator’s performance. Allow your car to run for just a few minutes, then shut off the engine, and open up the hood. Never, ever open the radiator while the car is still on. Look to see what the fluid level is (use a dipstick), and remember that coolant needs to have a bit of water added prior to entering your radiator.

If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.

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.

Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.

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.

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.

Watch for warning signs with a mechanic. There are a few signs to look for when you speak with them about your car. If they try talking really fast about the necessary repairs, can’t look you in the eye when talking to you, or try to brush you off, you should find another mechanic. They may be hiding something or they may only care about the money.

Automotive trouble should not be a frightening or time wasting endeavor. If you know the basics, you can do-it-yourself. You may even be able to do the repairs yourself and avoid the mechanic, saving you money. Remember the things that you were taught here when you have car trouble in the future.