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What You Should Know Before You Call Your Mechanic

We all know the benefits of having a regular car service and being on good terms with your mechanic. After all, keeping your car in good running order can save you money in the long run and preserve the value of your car when it comes time to sell.

In fact, buying a car is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make apart from purchasing a home, and in order to get the best value for your investment you need to follow a regular maintenance program. Some people find that dealing with the technical side of car maintenance can be a painful experience especially if you don’t have sufficient knowledge to effectively converse with the mechanic.

Finding a mechanic who can speak to you in terms you understand is vital for a good long-term relationship so it pays to hunt around and find a mechanic you can comfortably deal with in the long term.

Even when you are on good terms however, it is still important to educate yourself about some of the technical aspects of your vehicle so that you can be certain of receiving the right advice when you need it. This brings us to the point of deciding what you really have to know before you call your mechanic, so here are a few pointers about the basic information you should have at hand.

  • If you phone your mechanic for an appointment or advice, you may not be able to speak to him or her directly so you will need to use the right language. Make sure you know the year, manufacturer, model, and engine size. There is an identification plate under the bonnet which can give you this information.
  • Write down your tyre size. You can find this by looking at the 3 numbers recorded on your tyre, an example is, 205/75/15. Use your car?s manual to find out the correct inflation pressure for your tyres too. Sometimes this is recorded inside the door pillar or you may have to phone the manufacturer.
  • If you have a leak which you are concerned about make a note of its colour, remembering that oil will leave a greasy brown stain, coolant from your engine can be green or orange, whilst if you see a reddish coloured fluid it might be a leak from your transmission.
  • If you can smell burning rubber it could be your brakes or an electrical problem. If however the smell is like rotten eggs it might have something to do with your exhaust.
  • When you hear an unusual noise, try to ascertain whether it is coming from the front or rear of the vehicle and whether it is a rattle or a whine. Note whether it occurs when you are turning a corner, accelerating or braking or simply builds up over time. This information will help your mechanic diagnose the problem.

Taking some time to identify the symptoms of your car’s problem may help your mechanic diagnose it over the phone and either a book you in for a service or give you some reassurance. Either way it is a good idea to get to know your vehicle better so that you get the best value out of a car service.

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