Using Your Senses to Facilitate Auto Repair

As your primary means of transportation, your car is one of your most important investments. Make sure you take care of your investment with regular maintenance. Regular care will ensure little problems such as replacing of coolant fluid won’t fester and become much larger, costlier problems. Preventative maintenance is the smartest way to go to avoid costly auto repair. All it requires is that you use your senses: sight, smell, sound, and touch.


Small stains and occasional drops of fluid may look like trouble, but they are usually not causing for concern. Puddles of fluid, on the other hand, need to be checked as soon as possible. If the puddle you see under your car looks like a neon yellow, green, blue, or orange, then it is anti-freeze. This either means you have a bad hose or a leaking radiator. Oily or dark brown puddles indicate that your engine is leaking oil.

The cause of this could be a bad seal or a blown gasket. Red oil spots indicate a leaking transmission or power steering counsel. Get immediate attention to these symptoms. The auto repair in these situations shouldn’t be too extensive if you take your vehicle in early and don’t let the problem compound.


If you smell something like burning toast while driving your car, it means that you have an electrical short and are burning insulation. Be safe; do not drive until you can get it checked out by a professional. If the smell is similar to rotten eggs or burning sulfur, the problem you have is going to be in your emission control device or catalytic converter.

Don’t prolong maintenance on this issue for the sake of your vehicle. If you can smell gasoline vapors when you start your car, it may be a flooded engine. Give it a few minutes and try again. If the odor persists there could a leak in the fuel system. This is extremely dangerous and immediate help is required.


Sound can also provide you with valuable information about what your car maintenance. A squeak, a sharp noise unrelated to your engine speed, is most commonly the sign of loose power steering, or a worn air conditioning belt. Clicks, related to engine speed, generally indicate a loose wheel cover or a stuck valve lifter. Screech sounds are typically related to your brakes.

Oftentimes if they get wet in the rain, they will screech. These are but a few of the possible sounds you may hear while driving. If you hear something out of the ordinary, take your car in to get a quick check-up.


Touch is one of the most telling symptoms of a problem. If your vehicle pulls either left or right, it could be due to under-inflated tires on one side. It also could be a sign of a misaligned or damaged front end. Difficulties starting the engine, idling, and poor acceleration are all signs of engine trouble. These problems could be anywhere from routine to quite serious.

When looking for quality and fair auto repair, find out if the shop will honor your vehicle’s warranty, if they have certificates of excellence displayed, and if other consumers have complained about the services provided. The best way to find the best mechanic shop is to talk to your friends and family about where they go with their cars.

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