Glove Box Tips from Ted the Technician

2/15/2015

How to Communicate for Better Automotive Service

Today's cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.

But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same. Whatever type of repair facility you patronize--dealership, service station, independent garage, specialty shop, or a national franchise--good communications between customer and shop is vital.

The following tips should help you along the way:

When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don't ignore its warning signals.

Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:

Note when the problem occurs.

Professionally run repair establishments have always recognized the importance of communications in automotive repairs.

Once you are at the repair establishment, communicate your findings.

Stay involved... Ask questions.

A Word About ASE

Perhaps years ago, a shade-tree mechanic whose only credentials were a tool box and busted knuckles was enough. But today's quality-conscious consumers demand more.

The independent, non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts the only industry-wide, national certification program for automotive technicians.

Consumers benefit from ASE's certification program since it takes much of the guesswork out of finding a competent technicians.

ASE certifies the competency of individual technicians through a series of standardized specialty exams (brakes, transmissions, engine repair, ect.)

Choosing the Right Repair Shop

No matter what you drive--sports car, family sedan, pick-up, or mini-van, when you go in for repairs or service, you want the job done right. The following advice should take much of the guesswork out of finding a good repair establishment.

Preliminaries

Don't just drop your vehicle off at the nearest establishment and hope for the best. That's not choosing a shop, that's merely gambling.

Once you choose a repair shop, start off with a minor job; if you are pleased, trust them with more complicated repairs later

At the Shop

Follow-Up

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter

Mechanical failure--an inconvenience any time it occurs--can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, will last longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of an auto technician.

First things first. Read your owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules.

Carry emergency gear: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, and a flash light. Put a few "high-energy" snacks in your glove box.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer

Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance...Your vehicle should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!

Some of the following tips are easy to do; others require a skilled auto technician.

Getting Started--The best planning guide is your owner's manual. Read it; and follow the manufacturer's recommended service schedules.

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