Checklist for Car Work

If you’re handy with a wrench, you are by far the most popular person when your friends and family have car trouble. An out-of-the-blue phone call from a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile usually means one thing: “Can you take a look at my car?” Have a checklist ready to go for side projects like this. As the saying goes, by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.

2019 Volvo XC40

Have the Equipment

Tools, parts or hardware, you need to be sure that you have everything you need before starting work on a vehicle. If you are a professional mechanic then you probably already have everything you on hand. If not, a few basics to have available include:

  • Fittings. Washers, adapters, seals or rings, be sure that you have the appropriate fittings for your project. Parker Fittings is a great resource if you need to order more in a hurry.
  • Sockets. There is no doubt about it, sockets are the tool you will use the most when working on a vehicle. Since they come in two different sizes (standard and metric), be sure that you know what you are working with.
  • Zip ties. These little strips of plastic are a precious commodity when you’re doing work on a car. They are perfect for organizing cables and wires and can keep them out of the reach of hot parts that could damage them.

Work Out Payment

Whether you decide to charge the owner or not is up to you. Remember that your tools, services and time are as valuable as anybody else’s, so decide if you expect compensation before you start work.

Troubleshoot the Issue

Ask the owner of the vehicle what exactly the problem is. Try to have them be as specific as possible so that you can get a better idea of what might be happening. Even if they don’t speak Car, it’s still important to get as much information as possible. Some questions to consider asking might include:

  • What happened when the issue started? How were you using the vehicle at the time?
  • Was there a heavy load inside of it at the time it started acting up?
  • Do you hear any noises when you feel the car misbehaving (clicks, hums, whirring sounds)?

Professional or amateur, doing vehicle work for other people is a big job. Be ready for it before beginning on a project so that you can provide the best service.

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