Is there something wrong with your vehicle? Is it not working properly? You need to diagnose what's wrong with your car exactly before bringing it to a mechanic. That way, you won't waste too much money and time finding what's going on with your vehicle.
To diagnose a car's troubles, you need to gather facts in order to gain a better understanding of the situation and to plan better for the future. It's your means of identifying the cause and nature of a certain circumstance, whether it's your car not starting or your air-conditioning ending up busted. It could also be your mileage going way down than before, thus it's wasting your money and ruining your fuel budget.
Diagnosing Vehicle Troubles
Detailed Examination: If you're not familiar with how your car works, then you usually need to read up on guides or attention to the things your mechanic says about your vehicle. This is the only way you can make a detailed examination of the structure or elements of your car problems. For example, car start problems can root on faulty spark plugs, a drained battery, or a dead motor.
Warning Light: Old-school cars "feel pain" in the form of alarms or warning lights in order to signal to you, the driver and "brain" of the car that something is amiss. The signals on your dashboard could tell you exactly what's going on, from low battery charge to issues with overheating. Even better, computerized cars can give you error messages that you can use to look up the exact issue with your vehicle.
What If the Warning System Is Busted? If you or your technician can't just scan the computer display and retrieve the error codes to know what's wrong with your vehicle, then you'll need to list down the symptoms instead. Tell your mechanic about any noises, changes in performances, and other issues your vehicle might be going through. It could be sunk brake pedal or the car dying when you're going up a steep hill.
Pull All Data and Gather Information
Modern mechanics tend to pull all the data and detailed info on what the problems are and how many times they've happened. This will allow them to focus on potential root causes or reasons for your numerous breakdowns.
The make and model of the car can also be helpful to them in the sense that they can look up common problems with the model and compare it to the symptoms of your specific circumstances. Old-school mechanics had to test parts one-by-one without relying on sensors or computers, actually.