Having car trouble? Need a second opinion on a repair quote? The master mechanics at JustAnswer are here to help.
Why You Should Ask a Mechanic
1) Accurate Diagnostics
Finding the root cause of a problem is often the most difficult part of automotive repair. Online car mechanics have access to technical service and diagnostic data from the manufacturer that makes troubleshooting quick and painless. A quality mechanic will be able to figure out what’s wrong with your car and keep the issue from coming back.
2) Save Time and Money
Firing the parts cannon at your car to solve a problem is very expensive. Not only are you buying unnecessary parts, you are spending unneeded hours in the garage replacing perfectly good parts.
A professional mechanic will save you loads of time and money by getting the diagnostic right the first time, and replacing only parts that have gone bad. Once the issue is addressed, they’ll send you down the road worry free.
3) Trustworthy Service
Online mechanics are fair and unbiased. They want to see your car back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
How to Ask a Great Question
If you’re looking to get the most out of your online mechanic experience, it’s a great idea to have the following information handy.
Provide the mechanic with your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Sometimes trim level or even the VIN help as well, because some manufacturers offer multiple engine or transmission options for the same model.
Provide the mileage of the vehicle, along with any recent maintenance that has been performed. If you deviated from the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual or are unsure what a previous owner did, this is helpful information as well.
Scan the Check Engine Light
If any warning lights pop up on the dashboard, get the vehicle scanned with a code reader. Most auto parts stores offer this service for free. Have the codes ready when you talk to the mechanic.
Detailed Description of the Problem
You’re more likely to get a quick resolution if you can give a very accurate and detailed description of what’s going on. Can you replicate the issue? How long has the issue occurred? If the issue is intermittent, is there anything you can do that seems to make it more likely to happen?
Make sure you’re using the correct language to describe the problem. Describing an issue as a “slip” instead of a “jerk” or “hesitation” may lead the mechanic down a very different troubleshooting path, which could cost more time to resolve the issue.
If you’re not sure which words to use, try describing the problem a few different ways or use an analogy. For instance, “my car feels like a bucking bronco when I let out the clutch” or “it sounds like I have marbles in my engine”.
What Have You Already Tried?
If you’ve taken a stab at the problem yourself, it’s very helpful to tell the mechanic exactly what you have tested or replaced.