Make an Informed Decision
Taking care of your health involves "listening to your body" - taking notes of aches, pains or signs of an illness.
Taking care of your car is a similar situation - make sure you keep track of what's going on with it.
Listen for odd noises or watch for equipment malfunctions. If they happen consistently, then a part might need to be replaced.
Keep an eye on your car's mileage. Many parts need to be replaced after a amount of time and driving.
When a problem does occur, make sure you take note of it. Keeping a pen and pad of paper in your glove compartment is a great way to keep track of where or when these problems occur.
Also, be sure to read your owner's manual. In many cases, the manufacturer will let you know what certain problems mean, and when you should replace a part.
Don't forget to have standard maintenance done on your car - get your oil changed every 3,000 miles, and have your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
When getting new parts, make sure you don't use a brand X name you know nothing about. Check with the store employee to find out about the manufacturer and its reputation.
And of course, when you're in our auto parts shop - don't be afraid to ask questions.