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auto body prep-work to do yourself

When you take your car in for auto body work, the mechanic will have a lot of work to do. Each minute that the mechanic spends prepping your car to make the repairs is money that you will owe when the repairs are finished. So, is there anything that you can do to make the mechanic's job a little easier and lower the cost of the repairs for you? This blog is all about preparing vehicles for auto body repairs. Here, you will learn what prep-work you can do at home so that the repairs are completed more quickly and the cost is less.

auto body prep-work to do yourself

Tips For Spotting Front End Mechanical Problems In Your Car

by Jeremy Hudson

Poor handling and unusual sounds from the front end of your car are sure-fire signs that there's a mechanical problem with the car. Unfortunately, sometimes the symptoms aren't as clear as you might think. In fact, some damage can occur a while before you actually notice the signs of it. Here are a few of the things you should be attentive to that can indicate a need for mechanical repair.

Wheel Assembly Sounds

The wheel hubs, bearings and joints can make many different sounds if they're damaged or worn. Knowing the sounds that you can expect from a wheel assembly problem will help you to narrow down the potential source of the issue.

  • Growls, Grumbles and Rumbles – If you hear persistent grumbles, rumbles and growls from the front end of your car and those sounds worsen when you turn a corner, that's a key indication that the wheel hubs are damaged.
  • Grinding Metal – If you're hearing a deep metal grinding sound, it's a key sign that there are mechanical issues with the inner components of the hub or the bearings.
  • Clicks, Pops and Snaps – A worn CV joint will cause clicking, snapping and popping sounds from the front end of the car. You may also hear sounds like this if there's a lot of play in the bearings.
  • Knocks and Clunks – Knocks and clunks are deeper sounds than clicks, snaps or pops. They'll be heavy, thick knocking sounds or metallic clunking noises. These noises usually occur due to play in the U-joints or CV-joints. It happens because the assembly inside the joint isn't holding the drive components steady, so they shift and produce those noises. The clunk is often most pronounced when you shift the car into reverse.

Handling and Responsiveness Problems

Some front-end problems don't exhibit as noises. If you're noticing gradual deterioration in the handling of your car, it may be an indication of mechanical problems. Here's an idea of what to look for in handling and response.

  • Wheel Vibration – Vibrations in the front end will translate into the passenger area, and you may feel it in the steering wheel, floorboard or even in your seat. If you're feeling that kind of vibration, it's usually an indication that the wheel itself is vibrating. It's often caused by damaged or worn tires, but it can also be a sign of damage within the suspension itself. It usually requires a mechanic's troubleshooting to find suspension component problems.
  • Brake Vibration – If you press the brake pedal and you start feeling a shake or vibration in the pedal and the steering wheel, it's an indication that you may have uneven brake pad wear. This is frequently caused by a worn wheel bearing or damaged wheel hub, and may happen before you notice the signs of hub issues. This type of issue is also potentially caused by a damaged or stuck caliper. Your mechanic can help you assess that as well.
  • Sideways Pull When Engaging the Brakes – Both stuck calipers and worn brake rotors can cause your brakes to act up when you press the pedal. The most common symptom is a pull to one side or the other. Usually, the pull will be in the direction of the damaged brake.

Understanding the potential signs of serious mechanical problems will help you stay safe on the road. If you've never experienced these problems before, you may not know what they signify if they do happen. With the tips presented here and the support of a reliable mechanic, you'll be able to recognize them more effectively and deal with the problem quickly. Talk with a mechanic today, such as those found at http://www.autobodyomaha.com, about any concerns you may have based on these symptoms.