Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Car Care Journal - Pointers in Troubleshooting Your Car

Car Care Journal - Pointers in Troubleshooting Your CarAutomotive troubleshooting is often very overwhelming for some people. However, there are many things that you do not need an expensive mechanic for and that you can do yourself with just a little bit of problem solving skills. It is important that every car owner read, or at least skim through, their vehicle's owner's manual. There are often many things that may be different on each model of car that comes out. With newer models, there are also many things that are electronic in nature, and could consist of a complex wiring structure. Reading the owner's manual is often the first step in learning how to troubleshoot your car.

There are also many other guides made specifically for each model of car that are offered by publishers such as Chilton's to provide further information on more difficult tasks. Still, the best reference that a vehicle owner could possibly have for troubleshooting potential problems that may arise is a personalized car care journal. To create one of these journals, find a small notebook that can fit easily into the glovebox or console of your car. You will want to keep a pen with it as well.

Create several sections within the notebook for each subsystem. For example, you want to have a section for engine problems, transmission problems, wheel problems, brake problems, electrical problems, heating and cooling problems, and also power steering problems. In addition, you want to include another section for keeping track of routine maintenance tasks, and another for tracking your gas mileage.

Tracking your vehicle's fuel economy is essential to being able to tell what is wrong with your car. Dwindling gas mileage is often one of the first signs of problems with another one of the vehicle's subsystems. To track your gas mileage, write down the number of gallons of fuel added each time that you fill up and the number that is on the odometer. Then, subtract the current number on the odometer from the previous number entered and divide that number by the number of gallons of gas that you added the last time that you filled up. Each time that you calculate this, write down the total number of miles per gallon that your car is consuming. Changes over time could indicate a problem.

For the other sections, each time that you make a repair or notice slight problems with any particular car parts, write down the problem, when it first started happening, and what car parts were replaced. When larger problems occur, this makes it easier to determine what the actual problem may be and can save a lot of time and hassle.
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