6 Secrets Your Car Mechanic Doesn’t Want You to Know

By on April 15, 2013

#5 Don’t Ignore the “Check Engine” Light

This is an easy bit of advice to hear, but difficult to follow through with. Seeing the “check engine” light flash on our instrument panel can cause many of us to mimic the stereotypical ostrich: burying our heads in the sand and pretending that whatever’s wrong will simply pass us by.

That light in particular can mean a variety of problems are on the way (or already present) for your car, which we know can cost some serious money.

It’s no wonder we want to pretend nothing is wrong. But getting your car looked at when the “check engine” goes on can save you a bundle, especially if it leads to correcting an issue that would only have gotten worse and worse.

  • Bonus Tip: If you’d like to save even more money, get your own diagnostic scan tool. What is this? When a “check engine” light goes on, your car stores a code in its computer referring to the specific issue that caused the light to turn on. A scan tool (or code reader) is something you can easily use to help determine the problem. Autel’s MaxiScan MS300 is available on Amazon and frequently on sale for less than $20. Now that’s a small investment for avoiding potential disaster.

#4 Pay Attention to Your Transmission Fluid

Even if we don’t really do it, at least we all know that we should be checking our vehicle’s oil.

Not as many people know about the importance of good transmission fluid. A broken down transmission can impede your car’s ability to shift into reverse, not to mention other gears.

You’re basically out of a ride (and some big bucks) if the transmission goes south.

To ensure it’s running as smoothly as possible, check the fluid often. If it appears unclean (cloudy, dark in color, or containing bits of metal), take the vehicle straight in to the shop for a flush/fluid replacement.

Left unattended, dirty fluid or low volume can cause you to have to replace the whole transmission, which can run you thousands of dollars.

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