Car Repair Tips Advice and other Real World Examples

The information provided May not be politically correct but guaranteed to be Frank advice 

Mechanic Talk

How To Deal with Your Mechanic

A Must Read

  1. Communication is Key. The better you are at conveying your concern to your mechanic the better he will diagnose and repair your vehicle right the first time.  You don't need to be a mechanic to describe a noise heard? from where? or a Smell coming from? when? Hot or Cold? When braking or accelerating or Better yet drive with your mechanic and point out your concerns in person so every one starts off on the right page so unneeded services are not being done or the least of your priorities is done first. Remember only you can prevent forest fires.
  2. Have Realistic Expectations. When it comes to Auto repair quick, and cheap do not equal Quality or Care. Plan on leaving you car for at least a full day, maybe even two depending on the work of course. Make arrangements for transportation prior to dropping your car off just in case parts needed to repair your car are defective or wrong, or take all day to get this stuff happens every day so if you think its just a quick fix you maybe disappointed.
  3. Don't Drop off your Cluttered or Dirty Car. Why? Mechanic's shouldn't have to worry about your stuff coming up missing, stuff spilling over, stuff rolling under seats? We need to listen for noises, smell for smells, gain access to tight areas or compartments and having all your shit in the way is just Bull Shit!
  4. Leave Multiple Contact Information. Leave your phone numbers, wife's number, husbands, work number, emails and all that cause your mechanic will have to call you for authorization, diagnostic findings, the cost and to let you know that your car is ready for pick up. Any delay in contact will delay the repair process and make for an unhappy relationship.
  5. Leave the Mechanic Alone! No mechanic likes you to hover over him. This can be dangerous and very distracting and usually drags out the repair or service due to the mechanic feeling like he has to entertain or baby sit the customer. Let the professional do his job! If you don't trust the mechanic then you should find one you do.
Carburator Tune Up

What Is a Tune Up? and Do I Need One?

Maintenance is the modern day Tune Up!

After "oil change," the phrase, "my car needs a tune-up" is the next most popular request heard in the automotive service and repair industry. When a service writer or technician asks the driver why the vehicle needs a tune-up, the customer usually says that the vehicle is not "running right."

Maybe it's idling rough. Maybe it's hard to start. It could lack power, get poor mileage, or have many other symptoms. Many people believe that a tune-up will solve all or most of these problems, but the truth is, modern cars do not require tune-ups and poor performance almost always means the car needs a repair.

Diagnostic time will be  needed to find the root cause of any concern you may have. The phrase "tune-up" is from a time when automobiles were not computer controlled and an auto mechanic could actually adjust the timing, idle speed, fuel mixture, and other things in order to "tune up" the operation of the engine, similar to the way a piano tuner will tune up a piano to bring it back into proper pitch and operation by adjusting the tension on the strings etc.

Nowadays, the term "tune-up" actually refers to replacing and servicing the wear items in the ignition and fuel system. For example:

The air filter and fuel filter will become less efficient and need replacing

The spark plug electrodes will wear down and need replacing

Because of oil vapors produced by the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, the throttle body and fuel system will need to be cleaned and/or de-carbonized. The vast majority of the time, there are no adjustments needed (or possible), because the engine computer controls all the functions of the ignition and fuel system. The "tune-up" is often part of a large 30,000/60,000/90,000 mile service that includes inspections, and fluid and filter changes. These services are part of the manufacturer's recommended scheduled maintenance detailed in Your owner's manual.The modern vehicle should not exhibit any performance problems by the time a tune-up is due. If there are any performance problems, usually a Check Engine Light will illuminate, indicating that the vehicle needs some attention because it is not running properly and is polluting the air.

Radiator flush Cooling system maintenace heater core

Do I Really Need a Radiator Flush?

aka Coolant Service or Exchange.

No, You could wait till your cooling system rots out, leaks, and overheats on you way to Vegas.

Over time, the antifreeze in your vehicle may become acidic and lose its ability to help protect the engine from extreme temperatures. You can purchase a pH level litmus test at your local auto parts store to test the acidity level of the antifreeze. Simply insert one of the litmus test strips into your car's radiator and refer to the color guide on the box. If the test reveals that the water and antifreeze in your radiator is too acidic, then it's time to get a radiator flush. Or you can look at the coolant in your coolant bottle. Is it rust colored? looking like paint? dirty? Smells like Fish! You don't have to be a mechanic to know that maybe changing your antifreeze coolant would make sense.

While there is no set schedule for getting a radiator flush, almost all car manufacturers recommend that you drain and refill your radiator with quality antifreeze at least every other year, or every 40,000 to 60,000 miles - whichever comes first. Occasionally flushing the radiator will help keep it clean and prevent buildup of dirt and sediment. Fresh antifreeze will also help protect your car engine from extreme cold or hot temperatures. So do you really need a Radiator Flush? NO, but your cars cooling system would like it. You see neglected antifreeze turns acidic eating away at your cars Radiator, Water Pump, Heater core, Engine passageways and hoses. Remember changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles doesn't mean you take good care of your car.