Congratulations! You’re a car owner. Maybe it’s not your first time, or maybe it is, but either way, welcome to true independence. What’s that you say, a grumble in the engine, a squeak on the door, thick black smoke pouring out of the dashboard? Yeah, I’m going to be honest when I say this, owning a car isn’t all that great when you’re having trouble with it. It doesn’t matter if you bought it used, or new, cars are mechanical and are liable to fail at some point. Nothing lasts forever, but boy do we all wish it did.
It’s going to seem scary the first time your car breaks down. You might be tempted to leap out the car in case the fuel tank explodes in a giant fireball but rest assured that kind of failure is only in the movies. Well, mostly.
Auto Repair, however, is something you don’t need to be scared of. Ever wonder why there are so many Auto Repair shops around? It’s probably got something to do with the fact that there are a lot of cars on the road, and a large percentage of them are getting old.
I must stress again, don’t be afraid of Auto Repair shops, if you’ve got a car that’s giving you trouble these people are going to be your best friend eventually.
Now let’s be honest here, Auto Repair isn’t cheap, and if it is you should probably avoid whoever is making you that offer unless you know they are completely legitimate. Cars are fussy, complex mechanical objects that take years to understand. Sure you can learn the basics and know how to check the engine or change your tires, but when the transmission is shot or the hydraulics fail, who are you going to call?
There are two kinds of Auto Repair shops these days. Independently owned, and corporate chain garages. What’s the difference you ask? Well, the chain garages might be a little more professional looking, but any chance of trying to haggle down the price goes totally out the window. If you’re going to take your chances with an independent Auto Repair shop, be ready to try driving a hard bargain.
Don’t get into any arguments, and try to remain businesslike. They know that if you get what you want without cutting terribly into their profit, they’ll possibly have a repeat customer with you. A good negotiation will be the best for both of you.
So what if you’re in the middle of nowhere without an Auto Repair shop for miles around? In that case, you’re going to have to either call for a tow or know the specific problems your car has enough to be able to get it into a working state. That’ll be the only time I’d advise brushing up on techniques to fix your car, even temporarily.
If your car has a problem, and a serious one at that, either get it fixed before you go on any long range trip or know how to fix the problem yourself. If in doubt though, please leave it to the professionals. Inexperienced hands delving into an engine block are unlikely to do any good.