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auto repair diagnosticsMost of us aren’t mechanically-inclined, so sorting out car problems can be a daunting process. Luckily, there is a basic level of intuitive automotive diagnostics that anyone can do! All it takes is using our senses. Sounds simple enough, right?  Most cars will consistently have certain symptoms that correspond to certain problems. At the very least, being able to identify the area in which the problem is located is a huge step in sorting out auto repair issues.

Being able to troubleshoot common auto concerns, can make auto repairs less daunting. If you can effectively communicate with your auto mechanic, it takes the guess work out of identifying the issue and gives the repair tech a great starting point to pinpoint your issue. Use the following three senses to help identify your automotive problem.

Sense of Smell

Let’s begin with our sense of smell. Check for the smell of exhaust fumes inside your car. The smell of exhaust fumes inside the car should be great cause for concern. It’s an indicator that exhaust gas is getting into the cabin of the car from somewhere under the vehicle. If you suspect exhaust fumes, stop driving and get your vehicle to a repair shop quick! Remember, exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can lead to loss of consciousness or even death if inhaled.

Other smells to pay attention to, burning rubber, sweet syrup, and the smell of mold or mildew. The smell of burning rubber could be brake pads that are experiencing too much friction. The sweet smell could be an issue with the engine coolant and a moldy smell could be an alert that the air circulation system is experiencing a problem.

Sense of Touch

Touch is another important sense that helps identify problems with your vehicle. When you hold the steering wheel, do you notice vibrating or shaking? If so, it could indicate a problem with the wheels or brakes. Maybe the steering wheel isn’t responding correctly, that could signal an issue with the steering column.

Transmission issues can often make it hard to shift. It can also make it hard to get your car into or out of gear. Make sure you use your feet to feel for problems with the gas or brake pedals. You might notice that the pedals stick or has poor throttle response.

Sense of Sound

Lastly, listen for any weird or unusual sounds coming from your vehicle. Pay close attention to how your car sounds when you start the engine, driving and even when you turn it off. Be familiar with how your car sounds so that you can be alerted to any changes.

If you notice any issues or changes in your vehicle’s smell, noises, or ease of driving, take note and make an appointment with an auto repair shop to have your car looked over. Being able to let the technician know what you hear, felt or smelled will help them identify the issues quickly and get you back on the road safely.