Q:

What are some tips for self-diagnosing car problems?

A:

Quick Answer

Diagnose car problems by using a website such as Autobytel.com or AutoMD.com. These sites offer step-by-step automobile diagnostic services that are free to use as of 2015.

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Full Answer

When using a car diagnostic site, have as much information available as possible about the car's condition. Although the sites are designed for owners to find accurate information quickly, the owner must enter certain details about the car for them to work. For example, Autobytel.com allows users to look up problems based on a car's appearance, sounds it is making or odd smells coming from its exhaust or under the hood. AutoMD.com allows users to look up problems based on what other drivers report.

Use the proper tools when trying to diagnose a problem. Purchase tools such as a multimeter for electrical issues or a vacuum-pressure gauge to help with a poorly running engine. Diagnosing fuel-related problems usually requires using a fuel-pressure gauge, and diagnosing computer issues is much easier with an OBD-II tool. With the exception of the OBD-II tool, diagnostic tools for automobiles are often reasonably priced, notes PopularMechanics.com.

When in doubt, do not be afraid to ask for help. A qualified mechanic can listen to the concerns, gather information about the car's history and specific problems and use that information to make a diagnosis or recommend repairs.

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