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There’s a reason we use the word diagnose when we talk about fixing cars. Figuring out what’s wrong with your automobile has a lot of similarities to figuring out what’s wrong with someone who is ill. Vehicles are a mass of complex systems that can produce a variety of symptoms when something goes wrong. As with human diagnoses, a specific symptom may be indicative of a number of problems, and figuring out the specific cause takes training and experience.

Sometimes the diagnosis of your automobile’s trouble comes down to a matter of trial-and-error. This can be frustrating for car owners because time and money are on the line. You may feel you should only be paying for repair work. Of course, you only want to pay for the right repair – and a proper diagnosis is part of getting it right. Like at the doctor’s office — some of what you pay for is the doctor’s time and effort to figure out what’s wrong with you, not for the actual cure.

The good news is that car owners can do a lot to help out their friendly, honest and efficient HomeTown Auto Service service specialist in figuring out what’s wrong with their automobile. Again, the medical office is a good analogy. The more information you can give your doctor about where it hurts, when it hurts and how it hurts, the more quickly he will be able to help you. Most of the people who come into to HomeTown know me (Tim) owner and you most likely know in the last three years I’ve had three back surgeries to fix a nerve being  pinched in my spine. Most everyone knows it is still not fixed. I truly know how frustrating it is when you can’t get your problem fixed the first time, or second, and so on.

You drive your car everyday. You know when it’s just not right. Tell us what you feel and hear, when the problem occurs, what is sounds like, how often it occurs, where it occurs, etc., this will help us get you back on the road.

Good auto advice: learn how to talk to your service specialist.

If fluid is leaking from your automobile, you should note the color of the fluid, where under the car the puddles form, and when they form (e.g. only when it’s parked for a while, only if the engine’s hot, when the weather turns cold, etc.). For example, if your automobile is making an unusual sound, you should indicate where the sound is coming from, what kind of sound it is, and when you hear it (again, be very specific). The more details you can give, the more helpful you will be. “I hear the sound when I turn left” is more helpful than “I hear the sound when I turn.” After a few conversations with your HomeTown Auto Service tech, you should get a feel for the kind of information he needs.

If you drop your car off, leave a detailed note describing information about your automobile’s problem. A phone number where we can contact you.  A quickly scrawled “Making a funny noise” will only lead to frustration for both your technician and for you. Good communication leads to better car care for car owners.

If your automobile is occasionally stalling or sputtering, you may need a little more patience than with other types of car trouble because these types of problems are intermittent. In order to fix the trouble, your service advisor often finds it helpful to reproduce the symptoms. And if the problem is intermittent, it may take a while to do so.

In these cases, specific information can be invaluable, as it can significantly reduce the time it takes for your friendly, honest and efficient service advisor to get your automobile to misbehave. For example, if you can tell your technician that the vehicle only acts up after it’s been driven for 20 minutes and over 50 mph, it will allow him to quickly reproduce your problem, greatly reducing the time it will take for a car diagnosis in and then get it corrected.

Good preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping your car out of the repair shop, but if you need to get it fixed, good communication will get you back on the road quickly.

                    “HomeTown Auto Service, Not Just A Name- It’s A Feeling”