What Should You Do About Intermittent Car Trouble?

If you find yourself making weird noises or feeling weird every now and then, you can help your mechanic to get to the bottom of your problem without spending a fortune first. These tips will help you to simplify the diagnostic process and increase the odds that your issue will be solved quickly and correctly.

Try to Reproduce the Problem

It can be frustrating when your car runs beautifully one minute and terribly the next, but problems that come and go give mechanics little information to work with. If possible, try to determine the specific circumstances where the problem occurs. Does it happen on cold mornings? Does it happen after the car reaches normal operating temperature? Do you only hear that strange noise when turning left?

It's not always possible to perfectly pin down an intermittent problem, but more data will increase the likelihood that your shop won't need to waste time chasing down ghosts. Your mechanic may request that you take them for a drive to demonstrate the problem, and being able to reliably reproduce it will make this diagnostic procedure significantly more useful.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs

It's easy to be concerned when your car is suddenly clunking and clanking, but there were likely other subtle symptoms that you missed before the problem became critical. One of the best things you can do to ease the process is simply being mindful when you drive. Paying attention to the behavior of your car can alert you to trouble before the situation becomes an emergency.

Fortunately, you don't have to be an automotive savant to know when something is wrong. Instead, pay close attention to your car's normal behavior – its sounds, the way it feels when it shifts, any typical vibrations. When something changes, it can be helpful to provide this information to your mechanic even if it does not seem relevant.

Don't Throw Parts at the Problem

Finally, avoid just replacing random parts for an intermittent problem without understanding the most likely cause. Talk closely with your shop to determine the likely causes and what additional diagnostic steps are available. The surer you are of the underlying cause, the less likely you are to waste money replacing good parts.

Ultimately, intermittent problems are among the most difficult to diagnose and fix. If your vehicle is suffering from this type of trouble, it is essential to be patient and provide as much information as possible. With your help, your auto shop will eventually be able to hunt down and repair the problem. 

To learn more, contact an auto shop.