Auto Shop Newbie: A Comprehensive Guide to Owning Your First Car


It is often argued that in these times, there is a superfluous amount of cars in this country and reliable auto shop is needed now more than ever.

Here in the Philippines, transportation is a very hot issue; whether you’re an average commuter or a seasoned driving veteran with an intuitive grasp of all the fail-safe routes around your city, getting around in this country is a challenging beast all in itself.

Without a doubt, it would be of great advantage if you had your own car. It’s a given that we don’t all have the same financial capacity to be able to purchase one.

However, if you do have the means for car ownership’s proverbial rite of passage into adulthood, then buckle up because owning a car is a great responsibility, and you should be well versed in what you’re getting into.

Because if not, it is guaranteed that you’ll be constantly stressed out and find that owning a car will be more of a liability in your life rather than the convenient mechanistic tool that it was meant to be.

It’s important to realize that there are a lot of crucial aspects to the responsibility of successful car ownership.

An auto shop is a place that you need to acquaint yourself with because you’ll be spending A LOT of time there.

This article serves as a relatively extensive guide that covers the basic and integral sectors of car ownership that you need to be aware of.

A general overview of all the fundamental encompassing aspects that takes you through the ins and outs of how owning a car will come to play in your life.

It will cover the basics of car ownership and aims to be a nifty beginner’s blueprint for you to look back on when the time comes for troubleshooting.

Driving in itself is also a responsibility, remember, the most important thing is to always drive safely! No matter what anybody says, keep your seatbelt on and avoid driving when you are under the influence.

Tip 1: Consider Your Lifestyle

Every individual car owner has his/her own purpose for using a car to drive around from place to place on a daily basis.

Some people subject their cars to the harshest of terrains while others exclusively to the most pristine of concrete or asphalt. Some drivers travel cross country distances on a daily basis while others just use their car for errands around their small town.

It’s important to know your car and how you intend to use it on the regular. Obviously, it would be dumbfounding, comical, and straight up dangerous if you were to drive a compact luxury car on off-road terrain!

These are introspections that you have probably already gone through and sorted out when you were in the process of purchasing your first automobile.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on a more in-depth aspect, make sure that you exhaustively review your car’s manual (to the best of your ability) and take note of its specificities with regards to special parts and instances for immediate factory servicing.

Keep the car manual tucked away somewhere at home for reference; you’re going to need it.

If your car has been purchased 2nd hand, make it a point to know the vehicle’s COMPLETE history and everything concerning significant modifications, part changes since it was newly assembled.

There are quite a number of factors to run through when it comes to affairs concerning a 2nd hand vehicle that’s a topic for another article.

Another important tip is to set aside a little notebook wherein you can jot down important part serials and mileage numbers every time you get the oil changed.

Tip 2: Research about Car Registration

First things first, driver’s license. It is for your (physical and LEGAL) safety that you under the strictest of terms get behind the wheel with your driver’s license on you.

Even if you’re just going for a cruise around your homeowner’s association, be sure you have your license with you.

In the case of an accident, even if you are in the right, you will indeed be the individual prosecuted for operating a vehicle without a license.

Next, to the auto shop, the LTO (Land Transportation Office) venues will be your other best friend. And another piece of extremely important paper documentation is your car’s registration.

It is ideal to always have this document nestled in your car’s glove compartment at all times on the road. Here are the required documents you need to have with you when you get your car registered at the LTO (as of March 2019):

Brand new car (imported)

  • Commercial Invoice of MV (motor vehicle) issued by the country of origin
  • Bill of Lading
  • BOC Certificate of Payment
  • Certificate of Stock Reported (CSR)
  • Sales Invoice of the MV
  • PNP-TMG MV Clearance Certificate
  • Appropriate Motor Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Appropriate insurance certificate cover
  • Valid Certificate of Public Convenience duly confirmed by the LTFRB (for hire MV’s)
  • Valid Motorized Tricycle Operators Permit (MTOP) for TC only
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)

2nd hand car (renewal, private vehicle)

  • Photocopy of Certificate of Registration (CR) and Official Receipt of payment
  • Appropriate Insurance Certificate of Cover (COC)
  • Appropriate Vehicle Inspection Report (MVIR)
  • Certificate of Emission Compliance (CEC)
  • Taxpayer’s Identification Number

You can also opt-in to LTO Registration Reminder. This will ensure that you won’t miss your car registration renewal.

Although accidents happen when we least expect, it is important that we always have a fallback for any unfortunate event.

It is a high necessity that you apply for a car insurance card with the best deal for your current living status.

Remember that losing one of these documents could hinder you as a driver.

Which is why we highly suggest for you to make multiple photocopies of all these important documents.

Keep them safe because whenever the unfortunate occurrence of losing them actually happens, you’ll be saving yourself from a world of hassle.

Tip 3: Regular Car Maintenance

Everyday rounds are for making sure your car is free of any potential hazards. This should be part of your morning routine, preferably before you leave home.

Also, make sure to start your car and let the engine warm up at least until temperature levels are past the cold level. Failing to do this leads to the engine’s deterioration.

Check these parts on a daily basis and make sure everything is in tip-top shape:

  • Battery – If the battery doesn’t work, then your car would not turn on at all. So make sure that battery power is far from dead. The dashboard indicator will always notify you of this.
  • Coolant – This cools the car’s engine as it runs. Make sure coolant levels are sufficient because your engine would overheat otherwise.
  • Oil – Check dashboard if it’s time to get the oil changed. Also manually inspect the oil filter’s gauge if it’s already looking overused and dirty.
  • Fluids – Make sure that the Brake fluid and Power steering fluids are at the required level.
  • Brakes – Always be secure to testing out the breaks before hitting the road. Make sure your brake pads are not about to give out.
  • Tires – Ensure that tires are inflated with the right tire pressure.
  • Lights – Check headlights, park lights, signal lights, and fog lamps regardless if you’ll be driving at night time.
  • Gas – Make sure you know what type of fuel to get at the gas station, check the manual for your car’s preferred type of gas.
  • Belts – Make sure all the engine’s pulleys, belts, and fan belts are moving at normal rates. Make it a point to also check if they’re making any peculiar noises.

If you’re feeling iffy about any of these bullet points in your everyday rounds, don’t hesitate to take your car in at the auto shop right away for a proper analysis.

Tip 4: Periodic Car Maintenance

Matters of a periodic timeframe are usually concerns that should be ideally taken care of by the auto shop.

The equipment required for these are the high industry standard and for the most part, warrant a trained serviceman:

  • Oil change
  • Battery change
  • Tune-ups
  • Wheel alignment

If you’re a busy person but your car’s periodic car maintenance is due and you can’t attend to it, avail beepbeep.ph’s maintenance valet service.

Maintenance valet is a car pick-up and delivery service wherein you book an appointment to your trusted auto shop, and one of the best and trusted beepbeep.ph driver will pick-up your car, bring it to the auto shop for periodic maintenance and delivery it back to you once done.

beepbeep.ph’s poll of drivers are equipt with body cam and you will be able to track your car while traveling on the road. So this will give you peace of mind and convenience.

Tip 5: Keeping Your Car Clean

Make sure your wipers are running well, and your side and rear view mirrors are clear because these are minute details that could make all the difference.

Be sure to regularly get your car washed. If you don’t have the time to do so, take it to a car wash service.

Parking is also a factor that dictates your car’s (exterior) condition. You need to make sure that your car is safely parked in areas that are least susceptible to harsh weather conditions.

This is the usual cause for the paint to fade and if that’s the case, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself stressed out on dealing with an expensive new coating job.

Furthermore, be sure that your air conditioner is in tip functional shape. It’s a no brainer that the tropical climate in this country can get very brutal, especially in the summer.

Depending on your area, keeping your car’s windows open all the time affects the interior well-being and could very well lead to damage.

When it comes to your car’s interior space: regulative vacuuming and wiping of the windows will alleviate the possibility of long term degradation by exterminating dust mites.

Tip 6: Have Your Car Checked to Ensure its Overall Condition

Wear and tear is a natural occurrence that happens to any well-used piece of healthy machinery—it’s a sign of successful usage and long term performance.

However, it’s of utter importance that you maintain your vehicles running condition. Your car’s performance is something that isn’t exactly easy to gauge, especially if you’re a newbie.

It’s best to constantly be aware of your car’s potential follies by consulting with licensed technicians in order to prevent further damage.

This is what was meant earlier when stated that you need to be constantly taking your car to the auto shop, regardless if it is in dire need of repairs or scheduled maintenance.

Think of it as bringing your car in to get a checkup! A few check-ups here and there can only prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Tip 7: Trust in Your Auto Shop

In order to rid yourself of any hassle from stressful dealings with your car, you should build a relationship with your auto shop mechanic.

This person is a well-trained and skilled technician that you can (and should) learn from. He/she will take you through the ins and outs of your car’s general state and will expose to you the long term mitigation plans for ensuring your car a long and healthy life.

Your auto shop mechanic will also refer you to a fitting electrician for any concern regarding circuitry.

You need to trust your mechanic with your car in the same way that you trust your doctors with your body and general well-being!

Also, in the more business aspect of things, getting well acquainted with the auto shop’s counter employees will grant you extended knowledge overtime on the various quotas concerning parts and repairs.

Auto Shop 101: Everything You Need to Know

It’s tempting to think of an auto shop as a hospital that caters to your car’s general state.

However, in order to gain a better grasp of its everyday operative life, it would be more analogously fruitful if we think of an auto shop as a sports team-like entity, with each on-field player serving his/her own purpose out on the court and executing the assigned play: servicing your vehicle!

This article isn’t concerned with serving as a guide to versing the reader with sterilized notions of whether or not your being bamboozled by charlatan servicemen.

This is purely a general overview of the nucleic center and everything within the encompassing walls of a typical auto shop. So here’s how they get down and dirty with your car’s nuts and bolts!

Have you ever wondered what goes into the everyday inner workings of an auto shop?

  1. Work Sectors
  2. Operational Expertise
  3. Facilities
  4. Employees
  5. Customer Service

Auto Shop 101: Work Sectors

Work Sectors

These are the individual departments that serve as the heart of an auto shop – the hands-on pistons that define a car shop and its connective vocational tissue.

Having problems with your starter and/or your alternator? Sounds like something definitely for the electrical department.

A random engine pulley is worn out? Definitely, something the mechanical team should check out.

Auto Shop 101: Operational Expertise

Operational Expertise

Interestingly, not all auto shops provide the same services. Many auto shops focus primarily on one service and cater purely to a more specific clientele. In the business world, this is what we refer to as a company’s niche.

Some auto shops exclusively just provide for a vehicle’s detailing, like a good old paint job for instance. It goes without saying that specifically aesthetic matters that have nothing to do with how a car’s running condition is what we have come to know as ‘Body Shops’.

Just because a shop doesn’t offer repair services does not mean it isn’t qualified as an auto shop!

Auto Shop 101: Facilities


Space, space, space. An auto shop’s facilities are the bread and butter for their work sectors.

It’s absolutely imperative that an auto shop providing a distinct service should carry along with its workers – which are the appropriate tools for getting the job done!

Humanity, since its most historic and primal state, has always learned to use tools in order to adapt and survive.

A long way we have come in this adaptive journey and these advanced tools we have developed often boggles the mind, and it goes without saying that in terms of an auto shop, the required service equipment should fit legal operating standards and specifically ordered from legitimate manufacturers. Besides, car lifts are no joke!

Auto Shop 101: Employees


If we establish the aforementioned facet that comes in to play with auto shop operations and hire just anybody, then you know that said auto shop would be a total bust.

Employees, who have ample knowledge and the right skill sets, are the soul of an auto shop.

These technicians, mechanics, and clerks are the ones who literally give an auto shop life.

Auto Shop 101: Customer Service

Customer Service

This section of the article probably has the least to do with actual automotive vehicles and is more concerned with the purely business aspect that comes into running an auto shop.

Shop policies are the main foreground for any successful transactions since these are facets that correlate with the many service rates that go into the actual labor.

Besides general accommodation and attitude towards catering to the customer, auto shops should find it in their initiative creed to make clear to the customer their regulative warranty policies and should also be well attuned with insurance protocol.

Key Takeaway

Besides the intricate specificities of the actual craft that goes into car labor, it doesn’t take much to form a skeletal picture of what goes into an auto shop’s everyday system.

Just remember to choose an auto shop that is very reliable and efficient to your every car needs.

There you have it, folks! Hope you’ll learn something you can apply with our comprehensive guide in owning your first car and the auto shop 101 tips we shared with you. And for finding the best and trusted auto shop, remember to search with beepbeep.ph – the biggest online auto repair shop directory in the Philippines.


About Author

Tim is the writer and content specialist for beepbeep.ph. He reads a lot about news in tech, cars, photography, and watches. He's also a self-professed tech guru.

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