Top 5 Questions I Get Asked as a Car Mechanic by Eric the Car Guy
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The Top 5 Questions I get asked as a Mechanic
I’ll start by saying, at least I’m not a doctor. I am, however, a mechanic, and have been for more than 20 years now. Just for fun, here’s a list of the top 5 questions I get asked.
Coming in at # 5, “What fuel/oil additives should I be using in my vehicle?”
Answer: Personally I don’t think you need any. If you maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer's recommendations using quality parts, you shouldn’t need to add anything ‘extra’.
In fact, the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, applies here. However, if it makes you feel good pouring that bottle of “x” into your engine or fuel tank, go for it.
#4 “I had my vehicle serviced recently, and now something is wrong with what was supposed to be repaired. What should I do?”
Answer: First I recommend taking it back to where you had the repair done. Give the shop the opportunity to correct their mistake. Let’s face it, we’re all human and we sometimes make mistakes.
Unfortunately, the first reaction of most people is that they are being taken advantage of. This puts them on the defensive. I don’t recommend talking to a repair professional when you are defensive. Instead, explain the issue you’re having and see how they respond. I suspect many will make an attempt to turn you into a satisfied customer.
If not, then I recommend contacting the Better Business Bureau if you can’t make any headway with a repair or service you feel was not completed correctly.
#3 “How often should I change my oil?”
Answer: That depends on a number of factors. Mostly driving conditions, but also what the manufacturer recommends. Always default to what the manufacturer recommends for their vehicles. They put in the time, engineering, and millions of dollars to figure this kind of thing out.
I will throw this out there: if your vehicle has more than 60,000 miles, consider a high mileage synthetic oil. These oils are specially formulated for vehicles with high mileage and they address many of the issues that come up with high mileage engines.
My opinion on 3000 mile oil changes is that’s too soon with modern vehicles. I often go 5000-7000 miles in my personal vehicles, and I’ve never had any issues.
#2 “I’ve got this vibration while driving. Can you tell me what that is?”
Answer: Vibrations can come from a variety of sources. If you have a vehicle with a vibration, do what you can to take note of when it’s happening. Does it happen at a certain speed? Does it only happen when you apply the brakes? Does it happen anytime the engine is running? Does it happen when you turn the AC on?
The point is to try and nail down when and where the vibration is happening. That will be important information that your repair professional will need in order to address the issue.
And the #1 thing I get asked…. drum roll please, “I’ve got this noise in my vehicle. Can you tell me where it’s coming from?”
Answer: This is almost identical to the above response. Do what you can to track down when the noise is happening and what conditions seem to correlate with its occurrence.
Does the noise happen while driving? Does it only happen when the vehicle is idling? Does it only happen first thing in the morning? Is it a screeching noise? Is it a thumping noise? Does the noise change the faster or slower you go? Does it only happen when you apply the brakes? The list goes on.
Once again be as specific as you can when describing a noise to a repair technician. This information is vital. It saves the technician time, and will also save you money as a result.
Thanks for reading!
- Andy Somerville