Know How to Talk to Your Mechanic

Speaking to your mechanic and trying to explain what you feel is wrong with your car can be super overwhelming when you don’t know much about cars. It is easy to sound clueless here, but don’t forget that a mechanic doesn’t expect you to know. Simply doing your best is all they expect, but knowing how to speak your mechanic’s language will help! Here’s how:

  1. If you think you may be having issues with your brakes, explain to the mechanic what it feels like when you push on the brake, and explain to them what types of noises you hear when you do so.
  2. If your car won’t start, think about what happened the last time you turned it on successfully. Did any unusual dashboard lights come on? Additionally, ask yourself whether it makes any noise when you try to turn it on. Regardless of the answer, let the mechanic know, as this information is important in deciphering what of the many possible scenarios it could be.
  3. Keep track of basic tyre information like the last time you had an alignment or new tyres put on. Knowing this information will assist you if you feel you are having issues in this department. Is your car floating more to one side as you drive? Are you having to fill your tyres with air more than you think should be necessary? Let the mechanic know, and be specific.
  4. Dashboard lights can be scary when they pop up; we automatically assume the worst when we see something like the ‘check engine’ light come on. Take note of the exact light you see and when it is appearing. Is it on constantly? Is it flashing? Does it come on only during a certain point of driving? Letting your mechanic know these details will help them narrow down what to look out for first. Luckily, they have special programs to help them figure out what is wrong when these types of lights come knocking.
  5. If you have forgotten to take your car in for regular oil changes, this can lead to some serious problems down the road. Let the mechanic know the last time you had your oil changed. If you have noticed stains from a possible leak, take note of the colour, size, and frequency of these and let your mechanic know.

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