This solve car repair problems article originally focused on hands-on diagnosis. I wanted to point out the differences between a professional car mechanic and a do-it-yourself driveway warrior when it comes to the diagnostic mindset. However, as we started putting this article together, I realized an opportunity existed to provide a lot more value to a larger audience.
If you own an automobile long enough, you’ll need to solve car repair problems. This doesn’t automatically mean that you have to fix them yourself. Nevertheless, diagnosing the issue and knowing what’s wrong becomes an advantage for both do-it-yourself mechanics and retail auto repair consumers. A properly diagnosed automobile for the driveway mechanic turns into a successful do-it-yourself car repair. In an effort to further define this, we’re talking about replacing one part to solve one problem.
For automobile owners that plan on taking their ride into an auto repair shop, telling them what’s wrong with it can reduce diagnostic charges. With that said, the auto repair shop won’t value your opinion or your diagnosis unless you walk them through the steps you took to achieve the uncovering of the root cause of the problem. It’s important to show respect to the automotive center and speak with them on the same level of knowledge.
Mindset to Solve Car Repair Problems
When professional auto mechanics begin diagnosis, they automatically switch the way they think in order to solve car repair problems efficiently. They can’t use shortcuts or guessing at what’s wrong because this often turns into wasted time and money.
This is why skilled technicians grab an auto repair manual and look for a diagnostic tree chart or ladder diagram that efficiently diagnoses this specific problem. The factory created these step-by-step instructions to take the mechanic down the path of logical steps that leads them to a reliable solution. The factory can’t afford to replace the wrong parts and pay the technician extra labor hours for following improper procedures.
Even the most experienced professional technicians will often start by grabbing a professional vehicle specific service manual. This is one of the steps that a do-it-yourself driveway mechanic might try to avoid. All too often a shade tree mechanic considers the $20 spent on reference materials as a waste of capital. However, if this vehicle specific information leads you to exactly what’s wrong with the vehicle in a short period of time isn’t it worth the money?
Even more important, if it stops you from replacing a part that’s good and nonreturnable to the parts store wouldn’t it have paid for itself on the first use? If experienced mechanics and technicians wouldn’t attempt to solve car repair problems, without factory-based reference materials, then neither should you.
Tips for Retail Car Repair Customers
One of the common scenarios I find out in the wild is when an auto repair shop recommends multiple replacement parts for one individual complaint. This should serve as a red flag to customers. To further explain this point, let’s talk about what happens when the factory pays dealerships for warranty repairs.
The dealership enjoys a superior level of experience with that particular automobile. Therefore, the car maker realizes it should only take one part to solve one complaint. In cases where multiple parts are used the factory often finds misdiagnosis or the replacement of good components. This remains something they can’t tolerate, because warranty service charges come out of the profit side of the automobile business.
Therefore, domestic car manufacturers use a standardized method for dealerships to apply for reimbursement for warranty repairs. This is known as the complaint, cause and correction format. The strict rules keep the dealership tightly focused on the customer’s complaint, what caused it and what it takes to fix it. Customers of retail automotive repair centers should apply these same rules to each line or complaint on their repair order. In situations when a shop recommends more than one part to solve one problem customers should demand an explanation of why.
Tips for Do-it-yourself Mechanics
At home mechanics face a completely different set of challenges than professional technicians. They put a complete process in place for those that earn a living fixing cars. From the minute the customer walks in the door and the service advisor documents their complaint, the mechanic complies with a rigid set of standards that keeps them on track.
Those performing car repair at home lack this guidance. Therefore, distractions can take these people down the wrong path. This can lead to wasted time and buying parts the car doesn’t need. Let’s apply some specific examples to the situation. If you believe you found a failed relay take the extra step. Learn how to confirm a bad car relay. The same rule applies to switches and automotive computer sensors.
People fixing cars in the driveway might not realize that access to reference materials changed drastically. Vehicle specific auto repair manuals use to cost more than $100 in paperback format. Now they convert this auto repair information into a PDF file. Take a look at this Chevrolet auto repair manual in PDF format as an example. With the cost of under $25 you get the same information provided to professional technicians that keeps them on track. Finally, when you find yourself purchasing multiple parts to solve one problem it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your diagnosis.
Final Thoughts for Solving Car Problems
One of the common problems that both professionals and do-it-yourself technicians run into stems from jumping into diagnosis. You must truly understand how the system operates. Take a few minutes to not only look at the wiring diagram, but understand how the electronics and circuit works. This becomes time well spent. When you truly understand how a circuit works, malfunctions become easier to detect. After you gain this understanding take another five minutes to physically look at the entire circuit and/or system on the automobile. This visual inspection can often uncover problems stemming from physical damage to the wiring, connectors or the individual components.