When you know next to nothing about car engines and the way things work it is difficult to talk to the person that will be in charge of your car repairs. However, you do not have to know the proper names of the nuts and bolts but simply can say this,
- Can I Describe the problem to You
Give the mechanic as much information as possible; tell the mechanic when the ‘funny noise’ started, what it sounds like and how often it occurs. You have been driving the car and you know all its quirks so when something seems wrong you will know. This knowledge is what will help the mechanic.
If possible, get the mechanic to come as soon as the problem occurs so that they can observe and take notes.
- What Are Your Thoughts
Don’t offer a diagnosis. Avoid saying what you think is causing the problem. You may be just adding costs for any repairs that are made at your suggestion, even if they don’t solve the problem.
- Let’s Take A Drive
If the problem occurs only when the car is moving, ask the mechanic to accompany you on a test drive. First with you driving and then let the mechanic drive the car with you in it. This way you both experience the same thing and the mechanic can enlighten you on what the ‘sound’ really is; it’s mechanical name and not just a noise.
- Show Me
If there is something wrong with a particular part ask for evidence. Ask to be shown what a new or working part looks like and compare with what is on your car. Worn brake pads or rusted exhaust pipes are easy to see but other things are not. Still don’t let the mechanic refuse your request.
And don’t let him say that he needs to go to another place for a proper look or for dismantling the car. He must do it right there and show you.