You know your car better than anyone. This means that if it's making a sound or a smell that's not normal you will most likely notice something's awry. Many times a strange smell or sound is no big deal, but when you know that something is wrong these clues can be the key to proper diagnosis. Keep a watch out for engine misfiring, hesitation and exsessive oil consumption.



When something goes wrong in a vechicle outfitted with OBD (On-Board Diagnostic system) you'll know when you see that "Check Engine" light flash on your dashboard -- a mechanic can plug into the computer and receive a code leading the mechanic to an accurate diagnosis of the vehicles problem.


Preventive maintenance, including regular oil changes, timing belt & drive belt replacements at recommended intervals help to keep your engine out of the danger zone.


Manual transmissions change gears with the application of the clutch pedal and the shifting of gears using a stick shift. This action disengages the transmission from the flywheel temporarily in order to be realigned with another set of gears. Automatic transmission repair differs from manual transmission repair because of the clutch assembly.
A clutch needs to be replaced, in most cases, at between 80,000 and 160,000 km's. Although some clutches may last longer. Additionally, if a clutch is misused, it may fail sooner. A clutch is the bridge between the transmission and the gearbox. Depressing or engaging the clutch allows one to shift the transmission's gears. Over time, the clutch needs adjustment. The cable may stretch or the hydraulic system may need to be bled. When depressing the clutch pedal, the pressure plates and transmission gear collar will not fully disengage. This will cause a grinding sound as you change gears or make the shifting difficult. Also, over time the coating on the pressure plates will wear off and the throw-out bearing can wear out.


Does your vehicle travel too far before coming to a stop?
Does the vehicle pull to one side when you brake?
Does your brake pedal pulsate up and down when you stop?
Does your steering wheel shake when you brake?
Do your brakes squeal when you stop fairly short?
Do your brakes make a grinding noise that you can feel in the pedal?
Does your vehicle bounce up and down when you stop short?
Never put off brake work. If you answered yes to any of the above, you have a problem, get your vehicle checked immediately. If your brakes fail, you (and other people) may be in serious trouble. Other kinds of automotive trouble may keep your vehicle from moving, but brake trouble keeps it from stopping.