Tips for Consumers: Keeping Your Car Out of the Repair Shop

Tips for Consumers
Keeping Your Car Out of the Repair Shop

Car repairs can be expensive and frustrating. Nobody in the Hagerstown area wants to pay a big repair bill for auto problems that might have been prevented. Here are a few simple tips you might not know about. For example:
* Start your car properly. Revving the engine when you start it can cause serious wear, because the oil is in the bottom pan and hasn't had time to circulate.
* Stop completely before shifting the transmission. When you pull out of a parking spot and shift into drive while still coasting back, you are using your transmission to stop the car instead of the brakes. This can cause major damage. Shift only when the car is fully stopped.
* Avoid hard turns. Cutting your steering wheel all the way to the left or right can put 50 times more wear & tear on the steering pump. Replacing a worn pump can cost hundreds of dollars.
* Don't run the gas too low, especially in winter. Sediment collects in the bottom of every gas tank. When you run the tank almost to empty, some of this gunk can clog your fuel line. This might require a new fuel filter or even expensive fuel system repairs.
* Check your tires. Running on low pressure can cause excessive heat, wearing out the tread prematurely. Too much pressure puts less rubber on the road than is safe.
* Heed the warning lights. The minute you see an unfamiliar light, pull over, stop the engine and check your owners manual. Driving just a few more miles with a problem like oil pressure failure, for example, can ruin your engine.
* Neglect can cost big money. The single biggest thing you can do for your car is regular maintenance. Oil changes, inspections of fluid levels and manufacturer recommended service can add years to the life of your car. It can also discover possible safety hazards to protect you and your passengers.
* Listen to your car. Unusual noises happen for a reason and should be checked quickly. The most common noise people ignore is squeaky brakes, a possible sign that you need new brake pads. Ignored until the metal starts to screech, your rotors might need replacement at a cost of hundreds of dollars.
Finally, be sure to check out the repair shop's reputation with the BBB.

To file a complaint visit: or write: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore MD 21230. Their office serves Baltimore and all of Greater Maryland.