Auto Repair and Troubleshooting Reference Information and Specs
By Matthew Wright, About.com Guide
- Tools and Terminology
- Automotive Systems and How They Work
- OBD and OBD-II Diagnostics
- Dealing With Your Mechanic
Tools and Terminology
Trying to make sense of a troubleshooting tip or a DIY auto repair how-to guide can be difficult if you're unfamiliar with the lingo. It's important to have a resource available to help you understand how to use specialized automotive tools or help you understand how parts of an automotive system come together to make that giant bag of bolts into something you can drive to work.
- Complete Glossary of Automotive Terms
- Get to Know Some Basic Tools
- Reference Pics of Common Parts and Systems
- Using the Web for Auto Repair
Automotive Systems and How They Work
The key to top notch automotive repair and troubleshooting lies in a thorough understanding of what's actually going on under the hood. Sure, you know that a radiator keeps your engine cool, but understanding how it keeps it cool can be a huge help in troubleshooting a cooling system problem. If you know which parts perform what function, your powers of diagnosis will be much more powerful.
OBD and OBD-II Diagnostics
Modern cars have computer systems that do their own troubleshooting. These systems are referred to as OBD or On Board Diagnostics. When something is awry, the system will make a note of the error and store it in the computer for a technician (or you) to retrieve later. These error codes can be invaluable in trying to troubleshoot a problem your car is having. The OBD system can be overwhelming, but once you're familiar with it you'll be happy to have the information handy.
Dealing With Your Mechanic
Sometimes you have to break down and resort to the repair shop. Not every repair job is a DIY job, and you should only attempt a repair that you feel confident you can complete safely and successfully. When you have to take your car to a mechanic, it's important to know how to properly communicate and protect yourself. The more you know about your car and what to expect at the repair shop, the better armed you'll be to get your car fixed right the first time, at a good price, with absolutely no chance of being ripped off.