Modern cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles come with complex
technology such as digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers,
unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more
efficiently than models of years past. However, they eventually need to be
Before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service, do your homework so you receive the best possible service.
- Read the owner's manual to learn about the vehicle's systems and components.
- Follow the recommended service schedules.
- Keep a log of all repairs and service.
- Do not ignore any warning signals your car may give you.
- Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give your mechanic.
- Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Allow our experienced technicians to diagnose and recommend a remedy.
- It's important to note when the problem occurs. Is it constant or periodic? Does it occur when the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up? Does it happen at all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?
Check for the following common vehicle maintenance issues on a regular basis:
- Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.
- Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.
- Worn tires, belts, hoses.
- Problems in handling, braking, steering, and vibrations.
- When did the problem first start?
How to manage your service experience:
- Ask as many questions as needed to fully understand your repair. Ask for an explanation in laymans terms if necessary.
- Don't rush the technicians. You may be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and cost before work begins.
- Before you leave, be sure you understand shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
- Make sure the shop has your contact information readily available, so you can be reached as soon as possible.
Charles W Weesner, 06/18/2020
I've always trusted the help from Prudence. I'm driving the new CRV across the country when a new noise comes up. I find "wheel bearing fail" as a possible cause in car repair forums. I called to ask advice, and Rodney suggested that the sound "would change" when you swerve while driving. Sure enough, a right turn, hard enough at speed, made the sound disappear. I'm getting a warranty repair in Ohio thanks to the guidance from Prudence back in Arizona. Yes, I bought a Honda instead of a Toyota because I know where I can work with a good mechanic!