by Pat Goss
This time: automotive maintenance and automotive information. The two run hand in hand. Wasn’t too many years ago that if you went into a repair shop you’d see stacks of books. But today there’s so much information about automobiles that those books would probably now fill a room. Consequently, information sources have changed dramatically, a lot of it being on disk or on the internet. But before we go there, here are some things that you might want to consider.
First, the owner’s manual has tons of great information about your automobile, and it is specific to your car so don’t overlook that as a source. Then you have manuals that are somewhat specific but somewhat generic. You have to make sure if you’re going to use one of them that you have information that really and truly applies to your vehicle.
One thing that I prefer rather than going to a book like that, well, I like to know how things work, and to know how things work here’s the Goodheart-Wilcox automotive encyclopedia. This explains it. Now once you know how a part or system works you can apply that knowledge to any automobile and that way you know exactly what your doing and why you’re doing it. It’s a great resource.
Another great resource is to go online or go to the local auto parts store and you’ll find lots of manufacturers offer free discs that well they show how to use the products and when to use them and where to use them and so on. They’re usually free and lots and lots of good information. But here’s what we use in the repair shop. This is ALLDATA, and ALLDATA is an online information service that gives you all the information that you’d get in a factory service manual but because it’s online it can be updated frequently. So all the information is current.
Now you’re going to get repair information, you’re going to get all the diagrams and everything like that, plus you’re going to get these things right here. This is a list of technical service bulletins and recalls for the car that we have brought up. Now if we take this a step further, what we’ll come up with here is the actual technical service bulletin which in this case deals with a transmission fluid leak, now the typical diagnosis of this without the technical service bulletin would be that the car would need a transmission, when in reality there’s one bolt that needs to be tightened and that’s it. It fixes the problem, so great information. Also you can look up the price of the parts, the amount of labor that it’s suppose to take to perform these repairs so you can verify whether or not your estimate is on target.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
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