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Learn to Speak like a Mechanic: 5 Words to Know When Getting Your Car Checked

Do you ever feel out of depth in a garage? Or unsure what the mechanics are saying? Well, you’re not alone as over half of drivers feel nervous about going to a garage. It can be daunting not knowing much about cars and, even if you have a sports car, the world of mechanics can seem hard to comprehend.

Mechanics often use words that non-professionals don’t understand, and so it can be hard to know what work needs doing to your car. Most people feel nervous that mechanics will use garage speak to confuse the customer and overprice them. We want to prepare people for the words they might encounter in a garage. So, get your mechanics cap on and remember the car mechanic jargon below.

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1. Bushes and Wishbones

Wishbones are vital to the safety of your steering and handling.  The bush is a rubber component to your suspension that ensures there is no metal-to-metal contact. They can wear out on older cars because they’re rubber, so the garage will need to replace the bush. It’s important to note that garages will use multiple tools you may be unfamiliar with like sheet metal fabrication tools.

2. Diagnostic check

You might hear this one a lot, especially when mechanics are looking at a modern car. The mechanic will plug a laptop into the front of the car, which will collect information from the car’s software. The diagnostic test will then tell the mechanic the problems with engine, brakes, exhaust system, and generally major components.

3. Mayonnaise

You may instantly think of the stuff you dunk your chips in, but this mayonnaise is something you won’t want to eat. The oil lubricant of an engine and cooling water should never mix. But when an engine part begins to wear, sometimes they meet. The combination of the two creates a mayonnaise-looking substance, which means that your engine’s head gasket is failing.

4. Big End

A mechanic will usually say, ‘Your big end has gone,’ and many people will nod without knowing what ‘big end’ means. It refers to a large bearing in the engine that has failed or worn out. You’ll know this as there’s usually a loud knocking noise from under the bonnet. So take note of your strange car noises.

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5. Spongy Brakes

You can probably feel this yourself when you push down on the brakes. Mechanics refer to it as spongy when the brakes have little to no resistance, and it often means that there is a lack of brake fluids.  The air in the brake line can prevent brake fluid from flowing properly. If your brakes feel like this, then get your car to a garage.

Feel like an Expert…

We hope we’ve equipped you with a few of the essential mechanic jargon so you can drive into a garage and feel more confident. It’s always good to learn new vocabulary so that you can feel comfortable in a garage.

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