Your Five Senses for Vehicle Maintenance
GRAND BLANC, MICH. —
Mothers teach their children that the five senses – hearing, sight,
smell, taste and touch – are important for learning about the world
around them. These same senses can also help moms – and women in general
– with vehicle maintenance
According to the National Institute
for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), women now represent 65 percent
of the customers who take their vehicles in for service and repair.
Women also influence more than 89 percent of vehicle service purchase
decisions, and oversee the spending of more than $300 billion annually
on used vehicles, maintenance, service and repair.
Because more women than ever are
not only buying their own cars, but taking care of their families’
vehicles as well, what can women do to make more informed choices
regarding their vehicle service?
Lea George, marketing analyst for
ACDelco, a global leader in automotive replacement parts and services,
urges women to use their various senses to help detect problems with
their vehicles. This includes: Feeling or sensing any vibrations,
lurching or shimmying while driving; smelling gasoline or coolant;
looking at the floor of the garage for any fluid leaks emanating from
the vehicle; and listening for squeaks, clunks, hisses and other
abnormal sounds and noting from where they are coming.
“The more knowledgeable the
customer, the more accurately she can describe what is wrong with the
vehicle,” George says. “That helps the service writer draft a more
specific work order, which enables the technician to zero in on that
problem and increases the chances he will fix the vehicle right the
George adds the following tips for
vehicle owners to further assist service consultants and technicians,
and to help better their service center experience:
- Write down the symptoms. Take detailed notes
on any problems, and include if the condition is weather-related or
if the engine was warm or cold. These written clues will help allow
the technician to understand intermittent problems.
- Describe, don’t diagnose. Similar to going to
the doctor, you want to relate the symptoms but you wouldn’t
- Tape notes to the steering wheel. The service
writer to whom you describe the problems may not be the technician
who actually works on your vehicle. But whoever does will likely sit
in the driver’s seat at some point.
- Understand the service performed. After the
diagnosis, expect to receive a thorough explanation of the
maintenance or repairs performed on your vehicle. Be sure to get a
hard copy of a signed estimate for parts and labor so there are no
surprises at vehicle pick up time.
- Look into purchasing a vehicle service
contract. It can provide coverage for your vehicle in the event of
mechanical failure beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.
ACDelco recommends motorists get
their vehicles serviced at a service center that has ASE-certified
technicians. To find an ACDelco parts retailer near you, log on to
acdelco.com or call 1-800-ACDelco.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM),
the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader
for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people
around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures
its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars
and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick,
Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac,
Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader
in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information
on GM can be found at