Repairs and maintenance are extremely important aspects of vehicle ownership. Taking preventative steps to avoid potential mechanical faults goes a long way in ensuring top-notch services from a vehicle for years.
These days, more vehicles are entering the roads than the ones leaving. This means that the average age of active automobiles is on the rise. Soon the time would come – if it’s not here already – when a majority of vehicles on the roads would be old models being driven for years.
So why is this the case, and how is this relevant to the topic? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward. Older cars are likely fully paid for, and owners simply do not feel the need to upgrade to a newer variant just for the sake of saving some money. This means essential repairs are halted for years on end, putting the driver and passengers at risk every time the vehicle is driven.
The purpose of this article is to spread awareness regarding the importance of car repairs and the things that must be learned before taking your vehicle to a mechanic.
Find an Expert Mechanic
First thing’s first: you need to locate a professional mechanic who can take care of your vehicle no matter what or how deep the problems are. An ideal option here is to return to the dealership from where you purchased the vehicle in the first place. These outlets will have factory parts for your vehicle at the very least.
The mechanics would have the necessary expertise regarding your car model. However, such specialized dealerships do not always provide the best value. It is better to opt for independent garages if you are looking for the lowest prices, which would save you hundreds of dollars.
Car repair labor rates may per hour vary between different garages, as well as other factors like the location of the shop, the expertise of the in-house mechanics, the make and model of the vehicle, and many more. It is in your best interest to do some research and identify which shop can benefit you the most in terms of efficiency of service and the associated costs.
Do not just go ahead and pick the one closest to your house. Ask your friends and family to see if they know of any car repair outlet or mechanic that they already took services from. If you obtain a reference, check for online reviews and determine its authenticity on your own.
How to Prepare Yourself For a Visit to the Repair Shop
Now that you know how to identify the ideal mechanic or repair outlet for your vehicle, you should start preparing for the trip if this is your first time. You will need usual information about the issues in your car so that you can assist the mechanic with their initial analysis.
One of the most common problems associated with vehicles needing repairs is the unusual sounds they start making. Many car owners try to replicate these sounds by making weird noises that end up confusing the mechanic.
However, there is a better way. Instead of explaining everything on the spot, try noting down the issues you identify before visiting the shop in the first place. If you happen to bring in an immobile or nearly-totaled automobile, note down its activities right before the damages were incurred. You should also be able to tell the mechanic about the last repairs on your car – in case this is not your first visit to the repair shop.
The Most Used Car Repair Terms
To improve your performance in front of a mechanic while you are in the process of explaining the intrinsic problems of your vehicle, the best method is to learn the most commonly used terms associated with car repairs. Below is a list of terms, along with explanations, that promises to help you in your very next visit to the repair shop.
- Sluggish: The car does not pick up the pace properly or rapidly enough.
- Knocking: The car makes a rattling noise – especially when accelerating.
- Bottoming: The car makes loud noises when passing through bumps, which can be felt the most in the driving compartment.
- Bucking: The car makes an abrupt lurch, caused by the transmission slipping while the driver is changing gears.
- Shimmy: The car feels as if it is shifting crosswise, generally felt in the steering wheel and the running wheels.
- Surge: The car accelerates completely on its own.
- Backfire: The car makes an occasional gunshot sound that emanates through the tailpipe.
- Misfire: The car’s engine cylinders (maybe one or two) fail to ignite, leading to a loss of power for short spurts while on the go.
- Dieseling: The car’s engine fails to shut down for a short while even after switching it off.
- Hesitation: The car stops accelerating for a moment while being driven.
Obtain a Written Estimate of the Necessary Repairs
After you are done explaining all the problems in your vehicle, the mechanic will begin examining and analyzing them. Then, you would either have to leave the car in the shop or wait while the repairs are being done, depending on the extent of damages. Whichever option you end up choosing, make sure you get a written estimate, along with proper explanations of all the potential repairs needed.
What to Expect From a Car Repair Job?
There is a very straightforward way to determine what to expect from a car repair job. There is a famous saying that goes, “Quick. Cheap. Good. Pick any two.” What this means is: if you want fast output and quality work, you would need to pay more; if you want quality repairs at a low price, expect a late turnaround; and finally, if you are looking for rapid repairs at a discounted price, the quality of work would not be top-notch.
Whether you are in the process of buying a used car or are simply looking to get some automobile repairs done – knowing what to do before taking the vehicle to a mechanic is essential. We believe this article will be able to serve as a reference for the next time you feel the need to visit a car repair shop.