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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Car Mechanics Use Technology

Car repairs can cover any one or a combination of the following (note that this is not a complete repair list).

• Air conditioning checks
• Air bag checks
• Electrical wiring
• Cables
• Clutch service and repair
• Transmission repair
• Wheel Alignment
• Suspension
• Brakes
• Heating system
• Oil and lubrication
• Battery
• Power windows

Much of the troubleshooting that mechanics use to diagnose a problem is facilitated by car repair technology.

Ever noticed how some lights on your panel come on when something’s wrong? In most cases, an experienced mechanic will know immediately what the problem is, but there are instances where it will take sophisticated technology to lead to an accurate diagnosis.

Sophisticated technology comes in many forms and one popular one is troubleshooting software. Companies like Auto Tech have a software program that car owners can use to find out what is ailing their vehicle.

Most car owners who were cynical about software programs before should seriously consider purchasing a reliable car troubleshooting software program. For instance, some programs start out by asking you to input your car make and model number, the year of the car and what kinds of equipment it has. The software features a large database of information about all cars in the market and a car owner simply follows the steps when prompted. It employs what the industry calls a “tree diagnosis” where logical steps take you through the entire diagnosis process.

After you’ve keyed in your car’s profile, you use the drop down menu to choose the symptoms that your car is exhibiting. For instance, if you choose “squealing brakes”, the program mimics the squealing of brakes and if that’s the sound you hear, you confirm it and the program recommends a series of steps.

You may not really want to use a troubleshooting software, but imagine how much time and money you could save if you spoke to the mechanic intelligently, letting him know that you’re in the know.

Students who are studying towards certification buy certain tools of the trade. A couple of examples are Snap On and Mac Tools. These two are the most popular in the United States and Canada.

Mechanics now have a wide range of technology tools to help them understand car problems better: digital multimeters (electronic measuring), boroscopes (testing heat exchangers), fuel diagnostic testers (testing and balancing fuel injectors) and other such new technologies.

Find a Reliable Car Mechanic

Localization is key to finding a good mechanic. For instance, if you’re looking for a Delaware, Ohio mechanic, your first course of action should be to speak to friends and family members directly around the Delaware area, particularly those with some knowledge of auto maintenance and repair. Try to find a personal recommendation, and don’t simply ask who someone uses, ask why they use them as well. Find out about specific experiences that they’ve had with the mechanic.

You can also use the Internet to improve your chances of finding someone reliable. Type a phrase like “Delaware, Ohio mechanic” into Google or an auto repair guide site. Look for personal reviews of the different mechanics in your area to compare price and reliability. Again, you want to focus on personal experience, not general reviews. You ideally want to find out how a mechanic deals with tough situations, and see how the business reacts when a mechanic makes a mistake. Recognize that it’s nearly impossible for working mechanics to avoid a negative review or two, but if a particular auto mechanic has an overall poor rating, steer clear.

Talking to your auto mechanic is important. Even if you know nothing about cars, it’s easy to figure out whether a certain shop knows their business – they should be able to clearly explain what’s wrong with your car (or if nothing’s wrong with it, how and why you can keep it maintained). You should never feel like you’re in the dark.

Preserve Car Exterior

Start at the bottom. It is a matter of choice, but by starting with your tyres the job will become a little easier as you will see later. You will need to use a wheel cleaner with a stiff brush to make sure the wheels are sparkling clean before rinsing and washing them off. Similarly, wash the tyres and hose them off but leave the dressing until the rest of the car is finished.

Now go to the top. When washing your car, hose it down from the roof first to make sure all loose surface dirt is washed away. Spray the doors, bonnet and boot with a firm spray to do the same thing.

With a bucket full of detergent and a soft sponge begin cleaning the car starting with the roof. Use the sponge in a circular motion to remove the dirt from the roof of the car, then moved down to clean all exterior windows. At this point you should hose off the soapsuds completely and then move to the next section.

Using the same sponge clean the left and right sides of the vehicle before moving to the bonnet area. After finishing the bonnet clean the boot including all lights.

Hose off all sides, bonnet and boot so that the car is now free of soapsuds.

Inspect the car for any missed areas and use the sponge to clean them down again. Pay particular attention to the undersides of all doors, side mirrors and areas around the number plates. When you have removed all visible dirt hose vehicle down once more.

Using a chamois or other favourite drying towel, dry the entire vehicle from top to bottom, following the same pattern you used to wash the car.

Once the car is dry you can dress the tyres with tyre protector and spray shine if you wish.

If you think the vehicle is in need of a polish, choose the appropriate grade polish for the surface you are cleaning and apply gently in a circular motion allowing the product to dry before gently buffing. It is important to always maintain a circular motion when removing and applying polish.

Car Repair Doctors Are Indispensable

I am very fortunate to have found a tremendous mechanic who not only knows exactly what he’s doing, but charges extremely fair prices. He even tries not to do anything extra unless it is absolutely necessary. He and I have even become close personal friends after all the years of fixing my ancient fleet of vehicles. I like to call him “Uncle Gary,” amongst other nicknames we have for each other that are unprintable here.

The cheapest way to deal with auto maladies is always to fix them, rather than buying, God forbid, a new car. We all know that when you drive a brand new car off the lot, it immediately loses 20% of its value. Depreciation is a killer in the auto industry. So, I have found it best to cobble together my 4 old vehicles the best I can. I have Gary perform routine maintenance on them without fail. My cars always have fresh oil, a new filter, clean battery posts, and the right levels of all fluids.

Let me tell what I mean by “ancient vehicles”: our newest is the 1996 Toyota Camry, followed by the 1995 Ford Windstar Van, then it’s the 1977 long-bed Toyota pickup, followed by my favorite, the completely stock 1950 Ford 2-door sedan with the Flathead V8 and under 50,000 original miles. We were born the same year. And, I grew up with a carbon copy of it as a kid.

I have paid “Gary the Mechanic” a small fortune over the many years we’ve been doing business together, but it can’t come close to what a new car costs.

If you saw my cars, you would be shocked at how well they run. Beauty is only skin deep, you know.
For what it’s worth, a cardinal rule I have for all my vehicles is never ever wash them. We don’t have a garage, and I live in the very dusty high country of Northern Arizona, so what’s the use? Don’t get me wrong, if I had a garage, I’d wash ’em up real good, and maybe even throw on a decent wax job like I always used to do. I’m probably an idiot for being so unconcerned about the appearance of my fleet, but I am a stickler for all things under the hood and drive train. Oh, and I get my tires checked often as a matter of safety and increased fuel efficiency.