Some mechanic complications in your car can be a source of frustration. But knowledge is power. Some of these issues can be self-fixed only if you take the time to learn a bit about how your car works.
If you know more about your car, you have fewer chances of being taken advantage of when your vehicle needs repair. Here are some of the things you should be aware of:
You may notice warning lights on your dash that come on while driving, for example, the check engine light, ABS light, and track light, and you may not understand what they mean. In many modern cars, the lights are all about computer software and the design of the vehicle than actual problems. For vehicles like Toyota and Lexus, if you have a problem and the check engine light comes on, they will turn off the ABS and the traction control systems automatically, which is a safety measure built into their computer system.
Therefore, if you experience such a case, don't panic. It only means there is a fault in the check engine light. Have your check engine light scanned, find out its code, and have it repaired first. Often, when the check engine light is in check, the whole problem is solved.
A lot of people spend large amounts of money on mechanics where they get charged for ABS and traction control work that never was. Later, the lights come back on because there was likely another problem on the car that went undetected.
The next test to carry out is that of the maintenance required light. Most manufacturers put it there to scare people and make them take it to the dealer. These lights, on most cars, will just come on at specific mileage intervals.
What you need to do, of course, is maintain your car properly, but most importantly, learn how to turn off that maintenance light by yourself. Often, when these lights come on, the vehicle only requires a simple oil change.
Don't waste your money on expensive additives either for your engine or gas tank. Many companies make these products, and because they want to make a sale, they will make them seem lucrative to persuade you into adding them to your vehicle.
If you buy a used car and it has leaks or burns a lot of oil, you can use some additives. However, in a car that's well taken care of, it's a waste of dollars to buy additives.
Modern gas tanks have plenty of additives. They work perfectly well in the state that they arrive in, and you don't have to add anything to them.
The same applies to engine oil. It's well designed right from the factory. All those chemicals added to the oil and intended to make it last longer, prevent it from burning, or make it not pollute the air are usually included from the factory. You only need to change the oil regularly when it's dirty.
If your car's heater doesn't work right, it becomes lukewarm or doesn't work at all. Often, it's because your car is low on coolant. The heater coolant only works with hot water inside, but not hot air.
Therefore, if your cooling system is low on coolant, and since the heater is the highest part of the system, it gets filled up with air, and the liquid goes back down into the engine. You could fix the problem by just checking your coolant level: the only problem may be that it's low.
Modern batteries are full of acid from the factory, which is just another factor of production. Because of the acid, they start to deteriorate when in use, meaning they have a sell-by date.
Some batteries are packaged in different countries and shipped over long distances. Eventually, when they get to customers, they are of low value. When you're buying a battery for your car, assume you're at the grocery store and demand to see the manufacturing date. Try to get one that is less than a month old.
Avoid going to one of those big box stores where they have batteries stacked in a giant pyramid. You never know how long that battery has been at the bottom of the pyramid. Always get a fresh battery when you buy one.
Knowledge is Power!
Even if you trust other people to fix your car, a little bit of mechanics' knowledge can go a long way in saving you money.