Have you ever experienced a problem with your car which all of a sudden disappears when you go to the mechanic for your car service or repair? Intermittent faults are frustrating for everyone and we have had our share of difficult diagnostic jobs lately. There are things you can do to help track those elusive faults that come and go. Read on for ways to communicate faults to your mechanic.
What Happened? Firstly, try and describe what happened to your mechanic. For example, “I had been driving for about 30 minutes and was idling in traffic and the car stalled and then did not start straight away”. Or “I got into the car in the morning and the car would not turnover at all”. These type of statements give your mechanic some clues as to what may have happened as they describe the circumstances in which the problem occurred.
What was the symptom? Were there any strange noises or vibrations through the car? Did the car feel like it was lacking power or shuddering on acceleration? Also describe any particular circumstances such as when these noises occur such as on a bumpy road or while you were decelerating. Did you feel the vibration when driving or braking? Do the noises only occur when cornering?
What was happening around you? Always describe environmental conditions like whether it was raining at the time or was it hot or cold. Try and ascertain if the problem seems worse when the car is cold or when it has been running for a while. Also let your mechanic know if the problem occurred after something with the car had changed like if the problem occurred just after filling up or after fitting a spare tyre or after an emergency braking situation.
Did any warning lights come on? If you have noticed any warning lights flash on and off, let your mechanic know. For example, the check engine light came on and went off or the battery light flashed on.
All these little things can help your mechanic to understand the types of problems that can occur when you experienced the fault and ensure that you do get the right things checked out if the problem is not occurring when you take your car in for repairs.