Your Automotive Diagnostic, Maintenance and Car Repair To-Do List

Posted by erlan | Posted in automotive | Posted on 11-06-2011

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Any vehicle needs car repair from time to time. This could range from auto AC repair to brakes repair, transmission repair or engine repair. Various car repair needs can add up to quite a large expense, though, and any means of minimizing such car repairs would indeed be very welcome especially in times of financial crisis. One way to do this would be to implement automotive diagnostic and maintenance procedures, some of which you can do yourself even without the help of your auto service mechanic. Of course, you still need your trustworthy auto service mechanic for more complex automotive diagnostic and maintenance procedures and, later, for the inevitable car repairs. This to-do list will help you make the most of each of these stages.

Step one is always reading the vehicle’s owner’s manual. In fact, you should learn everything it has to say about your vehicle and, since you could not possibly memorize everything, you should keep the manual in a safe but readily accessible place. All of the required automotive maintenance procedures for your vehicle, as recommended by its manufacturer, are in the owner’s manual. The frequency schedule of every process is also indicated there. You should comply with these instructions faithfully.

Certain automotive diagnostic procedures can and should be done by the vehicle owner because you are the one who knows your vehicle best and how it behaves under normal conditions. You are, therefore, also the best judge of any changes in the car’s performance. This includes its handling, acceleration, deceleration, steering and braking. Changes in gas mileage and fluid levels are also relevant so gauge readings should be taken daily. The car’s tires, hoses and belts should be regularly inspected for wear and tear or damage. All kinds of weird noises, unusual odors, vibrations while driving or leaks should likewise be considered as warning signs for problems.

It is very important to document all your observations on your car’s changes, including a detailed description of the change and when it happened. Indicate if the problem is periodic or has remained constant. What were the conditions under which the problem appeared? Was it when the engine was cold, the engine was hot, upon acceleration, upon deceleration, while shifting, at any speed, or upon braking?

Some of these changes should be considered as emergency warnings. If you see any smoke coming from your vehicle, for example, you should promptly pull over and not restart the car. Call your auto service mechanic.

Even if the situation is not considered as an emergency, you should report any findings to your auto service mechanic as soon as possible. Take your logbook where you had documented your observations so that you can be sure that everything is completely disclosed without omissions. The accuracy of the report is important for the accuracy of your auto service mechanic’s diagnosis.

If you are diligent enough to follow all the required automotive diagnostic and maintenance procedures for your vehicle, your need for car repair will surely decrease. That may mean less auto AC repair, brakes repair, transmission repair or engine repair. And when you do need any kind of car repair, you will surely benefit from the abovementioned tips on what you should expect from your auto service shop.

You should expect your auto service shop to provide you with a detailed written copy of your mechanic’s diagnosis and repair recommendations. The auto service shop should also give you a detailed written quotation for the recommended services and parts to be replaced, as well as a work schedule. Your written approval should be required before any work is done, including any other additional work.

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