Owning a car is not quite the same as owning an animal or raising a child, but it is close. It is a big responsibility and a big financial commitment, and it is not something to be entered lightly. Everyone has no doubt heard the expression that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, that is very much true when it comes to owning an automobile. If you are going to purchase a car then there is a large group of people that you need to surround yourself with in order to ensure that you get the best performance and value out of your asset. Who are these people exactly? That is what we are here to tell you.
Every car needs a person to look under its bonnet on a regular basis. A visit to the mechanic Richmond or wherever it is that you stay is critical to ensuring a smoothly functioning engine and a long and happy life for your car. An annual visit to the mechanic does not absolve you of basic day-to-day care for your car. You still need to make sure that there is oil in the sump and water in the radiator and other similar basics. But for a service and the more higher-grade work, identify a good mechanic and make sure that they build a long-term relationship with your car.
This is a person you hope that you never need to meet, but it is also a person who almost inevitably will need to get involved with your car at some stage. A panel beater can do amazing things to the bodywork of your car in the event of an accident, but he can also help with chips and scrapes and more minor care – the kind of stuff that inevitably happens when you visit the supermarket or drive in traffic. Ask around for recommendations. This is the sort of person who is far better to be referred to you by a friend than by an insurance company or from the phone book.
A car needs to be insured and you will want to shop around for the best rates in town. Don’t take the first price that is offered to you but work with a broker to ensure that you get the best deal. A broker might charge a bit more than if you were to go directly to the insurer, but they know all the tricks of the trade and will almost certainly be able to get you the deal that you need. They are particularly handy if you are young and buying a car for the first time, or if you have special requirements of one sort or another.
The electric guru
Bodywork and the engine aside, the other central element of the car that requires an expert is the electrics. This starts with the battery, but it also incorporates some far more complicated systems as well. In the old days, battery and solenoid and alternator were about the only areas of concern for an automotive electrician, but more modern cars have all manner of the electric-powered system – from the windows to the air-conditioning and the on-board computer.