How To Select The Right Auto Mechanic For Your Car Repair
You can’t avoid visiting an auto mechanic if you have a car. It’s either you need to fix some faults in your car or you need preventive maintenance. Whatever your reason is for visiting an auto technician, there are certain things you need pay attention to. This article examines some of these and other things you need to know about auto mechanics.
Signs That Your Vehicle Is Due For Repair
You don’t have to wait until your car grinds to a halt before you start calling for a repair. Automotive engines don’t stop running without giving warning signs. Being observant and proactive will make a difference. If you attend to the following signs indicating that your vehicle is due for repair, you may reduce the damage and avoid vehicle breakdowns.
If your car engine is shaking
A few things may cause your engine to be shaky. Your spark plugs may need attention. Try to fix that and see if the vibration stops. Another thing you could fix is a loose or damaged hose. Tighten any loose hose you see. Replace any cracked hose. Take your car to an auto mechanic if you can’t correct any of these. Something more serious may be happening.
Your car engine is making an abnormally loud noise
Your car needs to go for an auto repair as soon as possible if the engine’s sound changes. The problem may be happening inside the engine. But it may be that some of the connecting parts in the exhaust system need attention. The catalytic converter may be responsible for this. There can be issues with some gaskets and seals. Some of them may have broken or ruptured. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse before contacting an auto mechanic.
Your car accelerates sluggishly
You should know when a car becomes sluggish if you’ve been using it for a while. Wrong fueling may cause combustion problems and affect the car’s general performance. A dirty air cleaner or clogged fuel injector may cause engine and transmission wear.
Your car engine is emitting smoke
Car owners shouldn’t ignore it when smoke is coming from the exhaust pipe, regardless of the color. Different colors of smoke signify different issues. White smoke may be a sign of a blown head gasket, or still, cracked cylinder head. Oil leakage into the combustion area may cause blue smoke. Check for worn valves or piston ring leaks. Black smoke can be a serious warning sign of a lot of things. A clogged oil filter, off ignition timing, or some malfunction in the emission system may cause your car engine to smoke.
An unusual sound when braking calls for urgent attention. Especially considering the importance of brakes to an automobile. When brake pads are almost worn out, there can be squeals when you brake. You need to attend to this in time to avoid damaging the rotor or drum.
Your car has difficulty starting
Several things may cause this. You need a professional to check it before it doesn’t start when you have an emergency. It may be a sign of a problem with the starter motor, spark plugs, loose connections, or any other problem. It all depends on what you notice.
You notice a smell
Treat this situation as urgent if you smell something from the exhaust or think there’s a burnt wire. Carbon monoxide coming out of the tail pipe can be lethal while you may be at risk of fire. Park your vehicle and turn off the ignition. Check to be sure that the smell is actually coming from your car.
Under inclement weather, your temperature gauge shouldn’t rise from cold to hot fast. It should take a few minutes. It’s rather ominous if your car is getting hotter than usual and too quickly. Leaks in your cooling system may cause overheating. A lack of coolant or a wrong blend may also be responsible. Broken water pump or some faults with the radiator itself can also cause the problem.
Check Engine light is on
Many car owners ignore this light when the car appears to be in “good” condition. When the “check engine” light pops up, you need to obey it, check your engine. If you can’t decipher what’s wrong after checking under the hood, the car needs a more serious diagnosis. The check engine light will not be on if everything is okay with your automobile engine.
You see an oil puddle under your parked car
Something unfortunate is happening if you notice black oil on the floor under your car. Check to be sure that what you see is actually oil. Transmission fluid, coolant, and other fluids look alike at a glance. Then, check your seals, engine gaskets, and other connections.
How To Select The Right Auto Mechanic For Your Repair
Now that you have decided that you need to take your car to an auto technician, it is important to select the right professional. You may cause serious damages to your car or incur extra charges if you choose the wrong one.
The following tips will help you pick the right professional:
Understand your car
Understanding how your car operates will help you find out if the auto mechanic you’re talking with is actually up to the task. You would know whether he’s just guessing or his experience levels can handle your car’s case. This is your first line of defense against frauds claiming to be auto technicians.
If you get stuck in an unfamiliar area, you have a slim chance of getting your car fixed by a mechanic you can vouch for. You’ll readily deal with the next available auto technician just to get you out of the trouble. You don’t have the luxury of ascertaining competences now. So keep a high maintenance culture so you can avoid such breakdowns.
Check their certification
An auto technician’s certifications tell a lot about their training and experience. You can tactfully find this out while talking with them. Most certified auto mechanics will display their certifications and memberships in their workshops. Some will also display it on their websites as well.
Recommendations and reviews
Ask friends and acquaintances about mechanics. Be sure to talk to those who are using the same type of vehicle as yours. Ask about the experiences of folks with various auto repair shops around. You can also read online reviews about various shops from many different sources. You want to see what past customers are saying about their service delivery. This will help you determine if you want to work with them.
Test them with small jobs
An auto mechanic that you’ll trust with a major repair job should be one you’ve tested with small jobs. These include things like oil changes or other minor repairs. Your assessment of their style, procedure, and facilities will let you know if you’d like to work with them on a bigger job.
Your questions will reveal a lot about the quality of service the auto mechanic renders. Ask them about their processes. Ask questions about your vehicle and see how they respond. If it is truly their area of expertise, you will know from their answers.
How To Make Fixing Your Vehicle Easier For Your Auto Technician
What you do or don’t do can make things easy or difficult for your auto mechanic. The effect on your vehicle can be devastating. You can make things easier for them if you apply the following tips:
Don’t continue to postpone the repair. It complicates the job when you allow the situation to get worse before you take your car out for repair. Carry out that maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instruction. As soon as you notice anything strange, get it fixed immediately. Just because the car hasn’t stopped running doesn’t mean that you can continue to drive it as if it were in perfect shape. Technicians don’t like it when car owners aggravate car problems.
Don’t try to hasten the repair process
You may feel like going back home in your car immediately. You may also want the repair carried out fast to reduce charges. But if you want to have a thorough job done, let the technician take their time. You can leave your car in the shop and come back for it.
Your visit to the technician will be easier and the repair faster if you can describe what’s wrong with your car in clear terms. Pay attention to everything you notice, when you notice it, how often, and how long each sign lasted. Be ready to give a clear history of the current challenge. Using incorrect terms may get the mechanic confused and complicate things.
For example, you can describe your engine problems to an auto mechanic in the following ways:
It’s BACKFIRING if a gunshot-like sound is coming from your car engine.
If an engine cylinder doesn’t ignite properly, that’s a MISFIRE.
It’s KNOCKING or DETONATION if you hear a rapid rattling while accelerating.
It’s HESITATION if you experience a brief loss of power while accelerating.
If the car’s acceleration is not smooth or strong enough, it’s SLUGGISH.
A sudden and upward change in the engine speed is a SURGE.
Do you feel harshness or excessive noise through the steering wheel or passenger compartment going over bumps? If so, your car is BOTTOMING.
If you’re feeling a side-to-side motion through the tires or steering wheel, or both, it’s a SHIMMY.
It’s DIESELING if the engine continues to run for a moment and burns fuel after you’ve switched off the car.
Tidy up your vehicle before taking it for repair
Make sure the back seat and trunk are free of domestic items and personal stuff before you drop the car off. It’s not kind to your mechanic as you’re actually increasing their work. It’s a hassle if they have to help you remove things from the car before they can carry out the repair.
Allow the technician to do their job
Exercising your right to ask questions gives you further assurance that your auto mechanic is up to the task. It also helps you know that they will do a thorough job, but, you shouldn’t be overbearing. They may have to check on a few more things. Many of them don’t like it when car owners linger around. If you need to stay around for a minor repair, take a seat at the designated place. Don’t distract your auto technician. Let them do their job.
Safety Tips For Automobile Owners
While you have to pay periodic visits to automotive mechanics, you can reduce the number of visits if you take some safety precautions. You can also lessen the severity of the problem with your car.
The following are safety tips to follow to limit cases of a vehicle breakdown.
If you want to elongate the life of your engine, drive right. You can slow down the rate of wear and tear if you avoid excessive speed and revving. Slow down when approaching speed bumps. Don’t let the car screech while moving or stopping.
Inspect fluids regularly
This can save you hours and money. Make it a routine to check the levels of coolant, transmission fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, and brake oil. Refill and change them according to the manual. Check your hoses and belts for any leaks or signs of wears.
Always carry automotive tools with you
You will spare yourself a lot of headaches if you have common tools in your toolbox. Otherwise, you may be paying unnecessary visits to an auto mechanic. It may also cause you to spend needlessly over a few things you could fix yourself. Having the right tools also lowers your chances of being stranded. You need to have a safety box filled with necessary accessories in case of emergency as well.
Check your battery
Batteries do fail, usually when car owners least expect it. You can save yourself a lot if you take the necessary precautions with your battery. Pay attention to the battery level indicator on the dashboard. Check the battery for any build up or leakage and clean it up. Don’t wait for the battery to run down completely before changing it. Don’t use it any longer than the manufacturer specifies.
Get your tires rotated and balanced
Tires don’t wear evenly in each of the four locations. You need to rotate them periodically. Move the front tire to the back and left to the right and vice versa. This extends the life of your tires as they share wears almost equally. Wheel balancing and alignment will also prevent your tires from wears. It can also prevent a loss of control of your car in certain situations.
Check tire pressure regularly
Many blowouts can be prevented if tires have the correct pressure in them. Try to have a gauge in your car and check each tire pressure regularly. Even when all tires look fine, still carry out the regular check on them.
Check your spark plugs
There can be soot buildup or oil on spark plugs for any reason. Check each one of them if you notice that your car engine is not running smoothly. Correct the problem. Stick with the owners’ manual directions about how long you need to drive your car before you change the spark plugs. Such advice may also come from your experienced and highly-trained auto mechanic. Don’t wait until it causes a problem.
Check your brakes
Fatal crashes result from brake failures. So NEVER ignore any sign from your brakes. Even if there are no signs, have them checked regularly. Don’t forget to check the brake fluid on a regular basis as well.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1 – Signs That Your Vehicle Is Due For Repair
Chapter 4 – Safety Tips For Automobile Owners