Websites such as DriverSide.com, AutoMD.com, and Autobytel.com have diagnostic tools to help drivers determine what is wrong with their cars. To use these tools, the driver needs basic information such as the make and model of the car, the year and sensory details on the problem.
When using the diagnostic tool on AutoMD or DriverSide, the driver first puts in the make, model and year of the car, according to their websites. The sites then ask the driver about the problem, such as what the problem sounds like or smells like. Alternatively, the driver can indicate what is not working on the car.
Both sites offer options under each sensory category. For instance, when clicking on "Smells Like," the driver is given a list of smells to click on. Both then offer suggestions for what the problem could be based on the symptom. Autobytel has a similar system, but the driver begins with the symptom checker rather than the make and model.
These sites also offer extra benefits. For instance, DriverSide has a place under the suggested problem to enter a Zip code. When the driver enters the code, DriverSide brings up coupons for area mechanics. When AutoMD brings up problems, it also offers average costs to fix the problem, either by doing it at home or by taking the car to a mechanic. It also includes how-to guides as well as instructions on how to inspect the vehicle to see if the suggested problem is, in fact, the problem.