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You Don’t Have To Be A Car Expert

Published on October 18, 2012 under Humble Mechanic
What Exactly Is A Master Certified VW Mechanic

You don't have to have 520 hours of training to know things about your car!

The average car driver is not a car expert. In fact, many drivers feel like they don’t know a thing about cars. That is just fine. But just because you are not a car expert, does not mean you don’t know anything about cars.

I have said before, there are a few keys to not getting ripped off, or taken when it comes to car repairs.

  • Asking questions
  • Being confident
  • Follow your owners book

Those are a few tips that will help you avoid getting ripped off. You can read more on How To Tell If Your Mechanic Is Ripping You Off.

The tip of being confident is what I want to talk about today. So you think that you don’t know anything about cars? Well, I would be that you know much more than you think. Let’s think about how much you DO know about cars.

Filters
Everyone knows what a filter is. It keeps junk out of stuff. We have them in our homes to filter the air for our heat and A/C. Or in our coffee pots to keep the grounds out of our drinks. Filters to the same thing for our cars.

  • Oil filters keep crude from clogging oil ports, or damaging bearings
  • Engine Air filters keep sand, and dirt from getting into airflow sensors and the air stream of the engine.
  • Cabin filters keep dust and and pollen out of the cabin of our cars.

Tires
You don’t have to understand the highly technical manufacturing process of making tires. Or truly understand how different tread patterns affect driving characteristics. All the average driver really needs to understand is the condition of their tires. Proper inflation, tread depth, and wear pattens are the keys to safe tires.

Wiper Blades
Much like other parts of a car, we don’t need to understand the technology or design of wipers. We just need to know that they clear our windshield. I also have some quick wiper blade tips.

  • Keep your windshield clean.
    It will help the blades from streaking or missing spots on the windshield.
  • Keep the blades clean.
    Cleaning the blades themselves can prolong the life of the blades. That being said, you can’t over replace the blades.

Vehicle Lights
As technology advances, the way light bulbs are lit. We went from very basic vehicle electronics to fully module controlled lighting systems. But your average driver does not need to understand all that. We only need to know when the lights are out. Well, the knowledge of how to replace a bulb is good to know too.

When we take things that sound complicated, or highly advanced, down to a basic level it makes them really easy to understand. When we understand the basics, we can have some confidence when dealing with an auto repair shop.

You don’t need to be intimidated when dealing with a service shop. You need to feel empowered, and confident. If you are not sure about a recommended repairs, ask, ask, ask. The more questions that you ask, the more you will know. The more you know, the better you can feel about making choices with your car.

If you are part of the great community on Facebook, I need some help. See Facebook changed the rules on the pages that you like. It makes it so you may not see all the posts that a page does. From time to time I post things to Facebook that does not make it on the blog. It is frustrating for me on the blog’s Facebook page and my personal page(which I don’t use much). If I want the entire audience to see a post, I need to pay for it. At some point, I will be willing to do that. For right now, that is not in the budget for the blog. So here is how to make sure you get all the updates.

To receive ALL of our posts, you must do the following:

1) Go to our page.
2) Hover your mouse over where it says “LIKED” and click on “Add to Interests Lists”

By doing this, you will continue to receive ALL of the posts

Thanks for helping me out with that. It makes me think I need to put more time in on G+. I have the page, I just don’t use it much.

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6 Comments

  1. Pat McCloud

    Another thing to know about is how to check the fluids of your vehicle. Oil, coolant, power steering fluid and transmission fluid. That is if your vehicle still has a dipstick for the transmission fluid.

    The maintenance section of your owners manual is a good place to start for knowing what to check on your car.

    1. Charles

      That is a great point Pat!

      All the covers and plastic trim under the hood of cars today is intimidating. Checking levels of your car’s fluids is really easy.

      The owners book is really important. Different cars have different methods for checking some fluids. My Nissan’s transmission fluid needs to be checked with the car running.

      That is still easier than checking fluid in a VW transmission HA

      1. Pat McCloud

        That’s ok, my Grand Caravan doesn’t even have a dipstick to check the transmission fluid. To check it, you need a scan tool to get the transmission temperature, and use a special dipstick and a chart to tell you were on the dipstick it should be.
        Sounds great until it starts getting old enough to leak. Maybe I am being too cynical based on having had vehicles being close to the end of their lifetime.

          1. Jeremy

            If there is a dipstick it, the instructions are usually written on it. Most of the time you have to check it with the engine running at operating temperature while it is in neutral

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