Wednesday, March 28, 2012 06:52
“Put some ice on it and take a double dose of Advil.” That’s my physical-therapist wife’s standard answer to people who request free cures for their pains. Car guys, at least those with fair-sized egos, need a handful of similar diagnoses for car problems.
Before answering any car-advice question, make sure you’re not stumbling into a trap. Ask what repairs have already been made and the results. Many want to compare your answer against a professional’s. If the repairs worked, I say: “That’s just what I was thinking.” If the repairs weren’t fruitful, I recommend taking the car to another shop.
Ask those who haven’t taken the car to a shop how long the problem has existed. Unless they say it started yesterday, know they are unlikely to heed any recommendation. They WANT you to say, “It’s nothing. Just keep driving and I’m sure the grinding and pounds will go away.” Feel safe in telling these people anything.
If you want to offer potentially useful recommendations, here are a few: More...