Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)Written by Kevin Schappell
Smart home mechanics use all information available to diagnose problems with their vehicle. Below you will find 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. Car manufacturers issue thousands of bulletins 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.
Checking FluidsWritten by Kevin Schappell
Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape requires constant monitoring of vital fluids. Read you owners manual and look for a diagram of engine. Most times there will be a diagram showing where to check all major fluids. This should be your starting point. If your manual is lost in glove box or you never had one, then ask your mechanic or a friend who knows cars to show you all places to check. There are 4 major levels to check on most cars. ·Engine oil - Usually towards front of engine and marked "OIL" Always check your oil level with engine OFF. Remove dipstick and wipe oil off with rag or towel then put dipstick back into hole. Now pull out and get a reading. You might have to hold dipstick to light to get a good reading as fresh oil can sometimes be hard to see. On dipstick there will be two marks indicating a maximum and minimum level for oil. Make it a habit of checking your oil every two weeks. ·Transmission fluid - If you have an automatic transmission then you will have a dipstick to check fluid level. It is most commonly found towards back of engine compartment or towards passenger side. You should find out how to check fluid by looking at owner’s manual or on dipstick itself. Most cars have to be running with transmission in park or neutral. Also transmission should be warmed up to give a true reading. Make sure car has been driven for a short distance to make sure everything is up to operating temperature. Checking level is just like checking your oil, wipe off dipstick, replace, pull out again and check level. If you have a manual transmission there is no dipstick and to check fluid level you must crawl under car and remove a fill plug. I would have your mechanic check this for you once a year if you do not feel comfortable doing this.