How to Communicate Better with Your Automotive Technician

We hear it all the time, “It’s just making this funny noise.” When your vehicle is acting up, there are things you can do to help your ASE Certified automotive technician accurately and efficiently diagnose your vehicle.

Our best advice? Be descriptive. Use adjectives to describe the sound, noise or feeling your vehicle is experiencing. We’ve come up with a list of questions we typically ask to get an idea of the problem.

What is the problem? Describe to us why you’re concerned. If your vehicle is making a sound or is producing a weird scent – as strange as it may be – explain it to us. If you think you smell maple syrup when you’re driving, that can actually help us know it is likely leaking engine coolant. If you hear a meow coming from your car, you might actually have a cat in your vehicle (true story). We have a million stories of some weird things people have described, but the information always helps us in the diagnosis of your vehicle.

How often does this problem occur? Tell us the frequency of the problem you’re experiencing. Does this happen everyday, or sporadically? Has it been going on for a while? If you remember when you started noticing the problem, that can help us too.

When does this problem happen? Try to notice if the issue is occurring at low speeds, when you’re driving on the highway, when you’re going downhill or turning – any sort of trend you notice can be helpful in the diagnosis process. Make a mental know, or even write it down when you notice it (not while you’re driving, please!).

Where is this happening? Does it seem like the sound is coming from the front of the car, the wheels, etc.? Letting us know where in the vehicle the issue seems to be occurring can give us clues as to what the problem is, even if it doesn’t originate where it seems like it’s happening!

Don’t have all the answers to these questions? Not a problem. Ultimately, any information you can provide about the problem your vehicle is experiencing can greatly help us in the diagnosis of your vehicle.

In order to properly and fully resolve your vehicle’s problems, an accurate diagnosis is essential. This is why diagnosing a vehicle is often an extremely difficult part of our jobs. But you can greatly help by conveying any and all information you have about the problem! Good communication with your ASE Certified Technician is important in ensuring the work being done on your vehicle is completed thoroughly and efficiently.

Written by Brian Bowersock

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