Is your car spitting and sputtering? Is it clunking its way down the road? If so, it's probably time for a trip to your local mechanic. Sadly, many people treat these visits in roughly the same way that they treat a trip to the dentist for a root canal. Your experience doesn't have to leave you screaming, however, and there are steps you can take to make sure that it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg. Your mechanic wants nothing more than to get your car fixed and back on the road, and following these helpful tips can make their job easier, and help to keep your wallet and your bank account filled.
Identify Any Unusual Sounds
There's nothing more frustrating than simply telling your mechanic that your car is making "a noise." If you notice something out of the ordinary when driving, then one of the best things you can do is to try to pinpoint where the noise is coming from and under what circumstances the noise is present. This can be difficult at times, but doing your best is a good way to minimize the amount of labor that will be spent on diagnostics. If you don't know your calipers from your alternators, here are a few tips for identifying strange sounds:
- If the noise seems to be coming from the wheels and occurs primarily when hitting bumps, it's probably your suspension
- If the noise changes with engine RPM, then it's most likely something in the engine bay or the transmission
- If the noise seems to change with vehicle speed, then it may be a brake or tire issue
- Whining or grinding noises near the center of the car are often transmission related
Keep Service Records
Service records are simply records of previous work and maintenance that have been performed on your vehicle. Keeping these records can boost your resale value, but it can also help when your car is suffering from a mystery problem. If your mechanic asks what previous work has been done, service records allow you to inform them of exactly which parts have been replaced and how recently. This is especially useful if your mechanic is not already familiar with your car's history.
Most importantly, don't be afraid to communicate. If you have any particular concerns about your car's condition, let your mechanic know. Many garages are busy,, as they need to handle diagnosis and repair for many cars in a day, which can make it difficult for technicians to spot trouble if they don't know to look for it. Even if your car is in the shop for an unrelated problem, don't be afraid to mention anything else out of the ordinary that may be happening. Issues that can seem unrelated to a layman may actually have the same underlying cause and more information is the best way to get a problem diagnosed quickly.
Remember that your mechanic wants to do the best job possible so that you'll keep coming back in the future. You can help them out by being clear about the problems that you are experiencing and communicating any major concerns that you might have.
Contact a company such as Powers Car Care Centers for more information.