Did you know your car can talk? It isn’t necessarily a spoken language like English, Spanish, French, or Italian, but it does have a lot to say if you know how to translate what it is trying to tell you. Let me explain.
When I inspect a vehicle, I use all of my senses. Okay, not all of them–taste-testing is not recommended. I replace that one with common sense so I still use 5 of them when I evaluate a car. I put all of the information together to process not just what the car needs, but find out why does the car need it.
Why would that last part be important—“why does the car need it?” It is great to be able to determine what is wrong with the car. However, if you cannot find the underlying cause—why it went wrong in the first place; you will be replacing or repairing the same things again and again.
A few weeks ago, I had two new clients come in for inspection. Both cars had a lot of black residue on the mufflers. You have probably seen that before yourself and wondered what is the black stuff on my exhaust? Technically speaking, it is carbon build up. A little bit of it is considered normal. However, in both of these cases, the build-up was more extreme. My eyes translated this to mean a couple of things: a possible rich running condition or misfire condition. To take care of my client properly, I would want to pay close attention to how the engine performed during my test drive, if the check engine light was on, and make sure to ask when the last tune up was performed. One client had just had his tune up at his 50,000 Mile Factory Scheduled Maintenance Service. One client was due for his tune up at the 150,000 Mile Factory Scheduled Maintenance Service. By catching and correcting the excessive soot, I am helping prevent wasted gas expense and premature failure of the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors.
During a test drive, a car pulls to the right while driving down the road. First instinct would be alignment, right? Let’s see what else the car has to say. I detected a slight burning smell and felt a shimmy or vibration when braking. I also saw the right front rim was darker than the other three. On the lift, the right front wheel does not spin freely by hand either. It is a seized brake caliper. Why did I give you all of that information? My client may ask me for an alignment because his or her car is pulling to one side. What the car says may be something different. Using my sense of smell, feel, sight, and touch I could understand that the car did not need an alignment. It needed the brakes repaired.
I could tell you so many different ways your cars speak to me, all of them fascinating…at least to me. It is why I love what I do so much. Discovering and interpreting what the symptoms mean; diagnosing and pin-pointing the causes; repairing the problem and what caused the problem to begin with; taking care of my clients and their best interests…I get it. I understand cars.
If you car needs someone to talk to, I’m all ears…and eyes, nose, hands…You can click on this link to my website and request a reservation now.