Nothing is more frustrating than experiencing a breakdown while you are driving. Besides immediate hazards, it can be annoying to find a reliable mechanic. Unfortunately, finding the right mechanic is not easy. The following advice will help you get the best service.

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.

It is not legal for a mechanic to start working on your car before you officially authorize them to do so, usually by signing a contract. Be careful what you authorize the mechanic to do. You should only sign documents that include a detailed list of the needed repairs and their prices.

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.

If you take your car to a mechanic, make sure they have the proper licenses and credentials. Before making your appointment, check their reviews online and their standing with the Better Business Bureau. Don’t just look at the positive reviews, but see how the company responds to negative feedback. Every business has the occasional problem, and if they handle the matter quickly and courteously, they may be worth a second look.

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.

Make sure that you do not get pressured into extra repairs by body shops. They feel they can get money from your ignorance. Before visiting the shop, use chalk to mark your tires. If the chalk isn’t present when you get the car, you’ve been had.

Stick with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components. If your car needs parts, choose OEM parts over generic ones. For optimum performance, you should have the OEM parts that are up to the manufacturer’s standards. While generic parts are cheaper, they’re generally a lower quality than the original ones. This means that you may pay more later for replacements.

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.

Wash and wax your car on a fairly regular basis. This will prevent it from becoming eroded. Many people go get paint jobs to cover the process of erosion. You can avoid having to pay for this if you make sure that your car is very well taken care of.

Always ask in advance how much labor costs at that particular shop. In fact, do not give them your keys until you have a clear understanding of what you will be charged. Many times, this information is not posted in an obvious place, so it is important to know what you are getting yourself into.

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.

Be consistent with which shop you go to. You are much less likely to get scammed if you know the mechanic you are working with and have a history with him or her. Get small work done there, and then if you ever need to have expensive repairs, you will feel better about it.

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.

Wash and wax your car on a fairly regular basis. This will prevent it from becoming eroded. Many people go get paint jobs to cover the process of erosion. You can avoid having to pay for this if you make sure that your car is very well taken care of.

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.

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.

No one likes to deal with getting their car fixed. However, for many of us, it is a necessary evil. Be sure and implement the tips you have read in the article above. Doing so will make your auto repair experience as effortless as possible and will have you back in the drivers seat in no time.