Thursday, August 16, 2007

How to help diagnose your automobile problems

by Guenter Hohmann

If you go to a doctor you don't just say "my body hurts". Of course not, you would be more specific. How about going to your bank and say "there's a problem with my money". They will look at you as though you had two heads. If you take your automobile to a repair shop and say "my car doesn't run right", what are they supposed to do with that lack of information?

I guess by now everyone should have gotten what I am driving at. If you want something corrected you must give as much detailed information as possible to expedite the matter as quickly as possible. No where is it more important to be specific about a problem than in today's complex automobiles. The better one can explain the problem the better your chances are of getting them corrected the first time and not wasting money on misunderstandings. Most people are in too much of a hurry and just scribble a quick note when dropping their cars off for repairs and not even taking the time to talk to the technician or service writer. Bad mistake! This leads to poor communications and the necessity for several phone conversations that may end up being misunderstood. To make the problem easier to understand, follow some of these guidelines.

Don't say "my car will not start" Specify; Does it crank but not start. Does it just click or buzz when turning the key. Is it just dead with nothing happening? Forget about that "it won't turn over" statement, it is most often misunderstood as to what symptom this pertains to.

Don't say "my car shakes" Specify; Does the steering wheel shake at high or low speeds, does the steering wheel shake when stepping on the brakes, is it the steering wheel shaking or does the whole car vibrate.

Don't say "my car stalls or quits" Specify; Does it stall after starting, does it stall coming to a stop, does it stall at idle, or does the engine just quit while cruising or accelerating.

Don't say "my air conditioner or heater doesn't work" Specify; is the air conditioner blowing warm, or the heater blowing cold. Many times people say their ac or heater is not working when they really meant the blower motor was not working. Again be specific.

Don't say "my car has a strange noise" Specify; the noise is a rattle, rumble, squeal, knock, vibration, ticking, and so forth. Specify; this noise is coming from the front, right or left. Rear, right or left. At highway speeds, or coming to a stop. Only happens during a full moon or total eclipse (just kidding). You get the picture.

I could go on and on but by now you can see how important the right information can be towards a speedy diagnose and save you some money by not having misunderstood symptoms worked on. Did I mention "Specify"?

No comments: