You probably did a lot of research into your car to make sure it was reliable. However, no matter how reliable your car is, you'll eventually break down. Sometimes, when talking to your mechanic, you might have trouble really giving them an idea of what's going on with your car. If you're having trouble explaining the problems you're experiencing, the information you'll learn here will make it easier at your local West Cost Tire & Service repair shop.
Write Down Your Symptoms
Just like when you make an appointment with your doctor, the more specific you can be, the easier it will be for your mechanic to diagnose your problem. By writing down what your car is doing, or not doing, you'll have an easier time explaining it to your mechanic. Trying to describe your problem from memory could have you leaving out important details. When you're writing down details, be sure to include your car's sounds and behaviors. Be sure you describe what it feels like when your problems are happening, as well as anything you smell, or leaks you see. This way, you'll be able to describe perfectly what you need fixed.
Use Language Your Mechanic Understands
Your mechanic is used to using technical terms. If you can describe your problem using the right words, rather than saying something like "It's making a thumping sound" your mechanic will have a better picture of where to start. Here are some terms and what they mean to help you be specific.
- Surging: Your car is surging when you suddenly jump up in speed, or your RPMs are higher than usual.
- Sluggish: This is the opposite of surging. You'll use sluggish when your car is slow to accelerate, or your acceleration feels bogged down.
- Misfire: When your engine's cylinders are not firing the way, they should, your car is misfiring. You can feel misfires because your car will run rough, and you might see a loss of power.
- Bottoming: When your car bottoms out, or your shocks fully compress, it's called bottoming. You'll feel this going over bumps or high spots on the road. Many times, you'll feel a harsh bang or thump through the steering column as you hear the shocks hitting bottom.
- Bucking: Your car is bucking when you lurch while changing gears, or after you hesitate on the gas.
- Backfire: You probably know this term already. You can hear your car backfire with a loud bang from your tailpipe.
- Knocking: You know your car is knocking when you hear fast rattling, or, namely, a knocking sound while you're speeding up.
- Shimmy: You can feel your car shimmying with side to side movement through your steering wheel or tires.
- Hesitation: Hesitation is common, and is what you say when your car temporarily loses power while you accelerate
- Dieseling: You can tell your mechanic you're dieseling if your car continues to run for a little bit after you turn your car off.
Track When You Have Problems
Knowing when you're having problems will help your mechanic a lot. Does your problem happen in the morning when it's cold? Or during turns? Braking? When you experience your problems is a good indicator for your mechanic to tell what's wrong. Be sure to include these details when writing down your symptoms.
Tell Your Mechanic Where in Your Car the Problem is Coming From
When you're listening to the noises your car makes, think about where they're coming from. If you hear the car in the front or back, which side you hear it on, etc. You should also note if you can hear the noises with your windows up, or if you only notice it when your windows are down.
Keeping these things in mind makes it a lot easier when you're having your mechanic look at it. If your mechanic has to guess at problems it will take longer, which will cost you more overall.
If your car is having trouble, or it's time for your scheduled maintenance, give West Coast Tire a call a (310) 477-7057. They've been in business since 1970, and are 5th generation family owned. Your car is in good hands at West Coast Tire.