Don't underestimate how important it is to have some kind of emergency kit within your vehicle. You need tools to change a flat tire, charge a battery, and you must have spare gas. You may also want to add some batteries, a flashlight and a few blankets in the event that you break down at night.
Read as much of your auto manual as you can, marking anything that is important. When you visit a car shop, mechanics will need to know particular information about your car. You may figure out, that when the manual is read that your issue is something you may be able to fix on your own.
Keeping your car washed will help prevent rust. Salt and other harmful chemicals will speed up the rusting process. If you want to avoid rust at all costs, do your best to clean the car thoroughly after contact with these substances. Use a decent wax for protecting paint jobs as much as you can.
Put together a small tool kit for your car and keep it in your trunk. You need to have tools to change a tire, which have come along with your car. You will need to get a lug wrench and a jack if you don't already have them. You need both types of screw drivers, a ratchet set, torque wrench, and socket wrenches. Don't get cheap tools. Get sturdy, quality tools that will not break on you.
Go over your owner's manual and dog ear the most useful pages. Your mechanic will need the manual for certain information. Sometimes you may find things that you can easily fix yourself and do not require a trip to the dealership.
If your headlights seem dim, they might just be dirty. Sometimes there is a residue that covers them from the streets and that can make them dirty so they cannot put out enough light. Cleaning your lights with a glass cleaner will allow them to perform better.
Take out all of the valuable items in your car when it is being repaired. If something is missing, it will be your fault if you do not take it out. You should also remove all the items from your trunk.
Do not diagnose car problems yourself. Bear in mind that you are not trained as a mechanic. It may seem like an easy fix, but in modern computerized vehicles, that may not be the case. Let repair shops diagnose your vehicle. Give them every detail about what happened and if there were any sounds associated with the problem, and let them diagnose the trouble.
If you're short on funds, find a vocational school in your area to see if they can repair it. You can pay much less for service since students are still learning how to repair cars.
Look into an auto repair person that uses their own personal garage. If they possess sufficient experience, they can typically do jobs for far less cost. You can support small business and save hundreds on the cost of the repair.
Figure out what repairs and labor are going to cost you before handing your keys over. Sometimes it's easy to spot the rates on the wall, but read them carefully.