Tech Tip from Clutch & Transmission Technicians
We at CTT have compiled some information from years of experience that will help you save time and money, as well as an over all better experience and understanding when taking your vehicle in for repairs.
It doesn’t have to be scary or nerve racking when your vehicle is giving you trouble.
Here are some tech tips on things you can do to help your trip to the local shop go smoother.
1: Before even calling around to find a shop.
Today’s electronically controlled vehicles are common to have intermittent problems that are hard to duplicate. By following the procedure below, it can help save time and costly diagnostics.
Take some time to get the information you need to explain the problem in detail.
- If the problem is intermittent. Put a noted pad and pen in the vehicle and right down detailed information on the problem.
- Did the problem occur after driving in stop and go traffic, after driving 2 hours, when vehicle is cold in the morning or after warmed up, when the weather is cold or hot.
- Was the problem intermittent? If so, when did it occur and when did it clear itself up.
- Was there a check engine light or any other dash lights that came on and did they go out or stay on.
- Were any other repairs or accessories added recently before the problem occurred?
- Add any information that you think may be helpful. Keep in mind, there is no dumb information.
2: Ask friends, family and co workers for referrals.
It is always better if you can get a referral but reviews are always another good alternative.
3: Make sure the shop can perform the work that you are needing. Today’s vehicles are very complex and often, their is specialty shops for different repairs. Sometimes the shop will sublet the work out to a specialty shop. It is better to have the repair done at the shop you are dealing with. The better you can explain the problem, will help the service adviser you call to determine whether this is something they can do or refer you to another specialty shop and avoid going to a few different shops to resolve the complaint.
4: Noises are one of the hardest problems to diagnose and are often diagnosed wrong.
As a technicians we are constantly listening for any noises that are not normal. This does not mean that it is the noise that you are wanting repaired. By following these steps below. It will help get the noise repaired correctly, the first time.
- Describe the noise in detail
- Does it happen when hitting a bump, when turning on an accessory, at higher speeds or lower speeds, when accelerating or decelerating, turning corners etc.
- It it a chirp, growling, buzzing, ticking, grinding, rattle etc.
- It is best to ask the technician to go for a ride and duplicate the noise
5: Don’t be in a hurry when dropping your vehicle off. Leave plenty of time to explain the problem in detail and even go for a test drive if necessary. Try and drop the vehicle off your self. Often the problem does not get described properly when another person is dropping off the vehicle. If you can not, then it is a good idea to give the shop a call and describe the problem in detail.
6: Do not be afraid to give the shop a call back if you think of some new information that may help them with the complaint.
We have test driven vehicles for a few days without being able to duplicate a problem, and then the customer has remembered something that allows us to duplicate the problem.
7: Once the vehicle has been checked out and they give you an estimate for the repair. Make sure you understand the work they are going to be doing and that it is going to resolve the problem you were experiencing. Ask for a worst case scenario if something has to be torn down further to inspect.
8: As with dropping the vehicle off. Leave lots of time for the technician or service adviser to explain what they have repaired and if there is any maintenance or further repairs that may need to be done. Don’t be in a hurry. Try and pick the vehicle up in person instead of having someone else pick up the vehicle as sometimes, things get lost in the translation. we know it is sometimes hard to do this with busy schedules and work hours. If this can not be done, it is a good idea to give the shop a call later to find out this information.
We hope this information will save you time, money and frustration on your next trip to your local shop
Clutch & Transmission Technicians