Blog Archive

08-26-13

Under the Hood: Tips for the Non-Mechanic

Do pings and knocks seem like they should be two different things?

Engine Compartment

If you answered yes, then you probably consider yourself a non-mechanic. Maybe you know how to check your oil, but your mechanical skills drop off after that. And, if you’re like most car owners, you would rather let the trained auto repair technicians do the heavy lifting under the hood. But that doesn’t stop you from increasing your knowledge of how your used car works. Here are some tips to get you started.

Learn the systems. A car is made up of mechanical, electrical, air and fuel systems. Your first task is to understand how these systems work together. For example, the air intake brings air into the engine, where it’s mixed with fuel and a spark from your ignition system. The power generated is sent to the drive train, which results in your wheels turning. The byproduct of the fuel combustion is redirected to the outside air by your exhaust systems. Learn these system interactions first before diving into the details of how each individual system works.

Read your owner’s manual and ask why. Your owner’s manual will detail how often your car needs to be serviced. Take a look at this schedule and ask yourself why the manufacturer has made these recommendations. What would happen, for example, if you did not change the oil for 10 years? Asking these questions forces you to visualize, for example, what oil does for your engine and what can happen without it.

Know your limits. Understanding how your car works and being able to fix it yourself are two different things. Know that mechanics, like the trained technicians at Mountain View Chevrolet, have experience and education. If there’s something really wrong with your car, put safety first and have an expert look at it. When you do, you’ll find that you can communicate better with your mechanic as a result of your newfound knowledge.

Start with small projects. Starter projects for non-mechanics include topping off fluids, changing windshield wipers and checking and adjusting tire pressure. See how comfortable you feel with these tasks before moving on to bigger projects.

Trust the technicians at Mountain View Chevrolet to keep your car running at its best. Mountain View Chevrolet is a community-oriented car dealer with the best selection, lease offers and finance deals you’ll find anywhere in and around Los Angeles. Our service team works on all makes and models too. Learn more about Mountain View Chevrolet at www.mountainviewchevrolet.com or call us at 888-9-Next Car.

Sources:

http://www.carcare.org/car-care-resource/vehicle-systems-overview/

http://www.cleggauto.com/major-vehicle-components-systems/

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