Your car gets dirty every day and you think nothing of it. You take good care of your vehicle and want to make sure that when something goes wrong, you can find a company to fix the problem without any hassles. How do you go about finding this? By reading this buyer’s guide! Here we will talk about everything from types of services offered to what you need to know before getting an estimate.

Before we get into anything else, let’s talk about some basic terms that everyone should understand:

Common auto repair terminology:


A/C (air conditioning) – This system takes air in from outside and cools/conditions it for use inside the passenger cabin of the vehicle. It is not recommended to repair this system unless it is absolutely necessary because recharge costs can be expensive.

Alignment – This is a service which adjusts the angle of the front wheels to ensure that they are pointing straight down the road, not off-center.

Balance – this is something that helps even out all four tires on your vehicle, so that they each have an equal amount of weight pressing down onto them. Doing this will prevent uneven tire wear and improve gas mileage, making it cheaper for you in the long run.

Brake Service – There are two types of brake services: brake pad replacement and brake rotor replacement. A lot of work goes into getting these both done so take care not to skimp on anything!

Coolant – This is something that regulates your vehicle’s temperature. If it gets low, usually you will end up overheating so make sure to keep an eye on it!

Diagnostic – this is the act of figuring out what the source of a problem with your car is so that you can fix it properly. Keep in mind that not all mechanics are good at diagnosing problems, so if possible try to find one who specializes in doing just that.

Differential – this transfers power from the engine/transmission to the wheel hubs which control movement for each wheel. It takes some time and effort to replace them so be prepared for anything!

Engine Tune-Up – basically, what this does is adjust all electrical systems inside the engine to ensure that they are functioning properly. For example, it adjusts your ignition timing and your air/fuel mixture so that everything works together well.

Oxygen Sensor – this is what regulates the amount of unburned oxygen left in your exhaust after combustion has taken place. It does this by sensing how much oxygen is present through a chemical reaction which creates voltage. If you need to replace the sensor, be prepared for high costs because they aren’t easy to remove!

Power Steering Fluid – this fluid makes sure that the gears inside your power steering system are rotating freely. Without proper lubrication, it won’t work as well as it should or even at all! Make sure to keep an eye on this fluid because it can sometimes look like regular old engine oil.

Tire Rotation – basically, this will ensure that your vehicle’s tires wear down evenly so you don’t end up having to replace them all at once. Don’t forget about rotating your tires!

Valve Cover – This is the covering on top of your engine which contains the valves and spark plugs. If it has a problem, then that’s where you’ll find it! It isn’t always easy or cheap to get fixed but if you need some help with this part, come see us at YourMechanic!

Wheel Alignment- this is very similar to an alignment for the front wheels, except for the back ones. To know whether or not you will need this done, try to turn your steering wheel all the way one way or another. If it becomes difficult, then chances are you need an alignment for the back wheels.

Wheel Balance- like balancing the tires on your vehicle, making sure that all four of them are properly balanced is important to both safety and gas mileage. Unbalanced tires can end up wearing down unevenly, causing them to become prematurely worn out!

If you are in the market for a car, there are some questions that need to be answered before you start your search.

What is the total mileage on my desired vehicle?   

If it’s over 100k it will probably need some work done in the future and if it’s over 200k you might want to either look into an older model or just save up for something else. The average lifespan of an American automobile is 150-200k miles so anything above that can easily indicate regular use. I’d suggest going under 100k unless you have a good reason to buy one with more miles on it.

How old is the car? 

Most people don’t realize this but cars depreciate up to 50% the first year they are bought. When you buy a car it’s considered “used” even if you plan on keeping it for ten years or more. There is a reason why a new car only costs a few thousand dollars more than a used one. If possible don’t spend more than 10k on something that’s over 5 years old and certainly not over 15 years old unless it was extremely well maintained.

Have records been kept? 

Have service records been kept throughout the life of the vehicle? A clean maintenance history will prove the previous owner took good care of it which means less expenses in the future. Of course, bad records also mean something… so be careful what you wish for!

Is this the right model for me? 

This kind of relates to the previous question, but if you are in the market for a truck don’t buy an SUV. If you want something sporty check out eBay or go to a dealer that specializes in that type of car. It’s all about getting what you want and need without breaking the bank. There is usually a way around it if your heart is set on something specific.

How will this car help me accomplish my goals? 

This one gets overlooked by almost everyone, but the type of car you have makes all the difference in how your day goes. Don’t buy someone else’s problem and don’t drive an inferior vehicle just to hang with the Joneses or show off. It won’t matter what kind of car you have if it doesn’t get you where you want to go on time. Make sure your ride helps you accomplish what’s important – not distracts from it!

Are You Looking for an Independent Auto Repair Shop You Can Trust?

If you’re considering making a change to an independent auto repair mechanic trusted by thousands of happy customers, look no further than autoTECH Blackhawk. Why? We differ from other automotive repair stops because we are a relationship shop. This means that the more of your car repair needs we support you with, the better able we are to customize our recommendations based on your driving habits and needs. Whether you want to keep the daily driver in ‘good enough’ condition, style your new car so that it’s customized just for you, maintain your favorite car in ‘like new’ condition, or even train your whole family to be more knowledgeable about cars – we partner with you to ensure that your cars meet your needs. We also offer an industry-leading 3-Year/36,000-mile warranty, so we only use Original Equipment and manufacturer-recommended products. Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.

Danville's Top Full Service Auto Shop

Industry-Leading Warranty