The Home Mechanic's Secret Weapons
by Kevin Schappell
Smart home mechanics use all the information available to diagnose problems with their vehicle. Below you will find the two most valuable sources of data available today. Most people know nothing about TSBs, but they should. Both of these excellent resources are available online from websites like AllData.com
Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs):
TSBs are issued by vehicle manufacturers to help automotive technicians diagnose and repair problems reported by consumers and repair shops. It's amazing how many fixes are found in these bulletins that can't be found anywhere else. Thousands of bulletins are issued by car manufacturers every year.
TSBs contain up-to-date factory fixes for difficult to diagnose problems such as rough idles, intermittent stalls, hard starts, and all kinds of "shakes", "rattles" and "clunks" that can sometimes drive you nuts. TSBs describe service procedures that may improve performance, reduce future breakdowns, or show a factory authorized modification for your vehicle.
This information can be valuable to the home mechanic when trying to troubleshoot problems with his or her car. Most times the manufacturer gives detailed instructions on how to fix the problem with part numbers included. You can choose to fix it yourself or take it to your mechanic and alert him to the TSB.
Automobile manufacturers issue Official Safety Recall Notices to inform vehicle owners of car defects that have come to the manufacturer's attention. Recalls also suggest improvements that can be made to improve the safety of a particular vehicle. Oftentimes this recall work can be performed by your car dealer for free. Knowing what recall notices have been issued on your vehicle helps you keep your vehicle in the best and safest working order. The best way to keep your family safe is to check for recalls issued for your vehicle every 1 - 3 months. Not all recalls are serious enough to warrant the manufacturer to contact owners, so it's up to you to check for yourself.
Kevin maintains http://www.autoeducation.com where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.
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