Watch What You Read On Forums
Possibly the greatest benefit of the internet is the free sharing of information. In the auto repair field there is a wealth of knowledge, much of it available on forums. There are forums for every make and model of vehicle where people write about their problems, concerns, thoughts, ideas and solutions to specific issues.
Lets look at the good and bad of forums. On the good side, a wealth of information is available to any car owner. Got a specific problem? Search it up and likely you’ll find answers. This is great because when you take your car to a shop to repair a concern you can walk in armed with information. Having information undoubtedly gives you confidence.
On the bad side: who is writing in these forums? It is mostly enthusiasts and hobbyists. Occasionally you get a professional technician who contributes. What you read may not always be relevant to your vehicle. Being able to discern which information is relevant to your concerns can be difficult. As an aside I personally read a great deal of whining and negativity as well as arrogance in many forums which gives me a depressed feeling reading them.
So how can you, as a car owner best utilize forums? By all means read them, there is a tremendous wealth of information for your education. It takes some of the mystery out of car repair and empowers you when concerns arise with your vehicle. Just be careful to not be convinced that the answers are 100% correct for they are often wrong or not relevant to your issue.
Unless you are a pure do it yourselfer, getting information from forums doesn’t bypass you finding a good shop with trusted technicians to service your vehicle. I can’t stress that enough. After you find that good shop you could share your thoughts about the concern with them. It might help them in their diagnosis but have an open mind to listen to their thoughts, after all an experienced technician will provide professional expertise and experience.
Bottom line: by all means use forums to empower you with knowledge and assist in your vehicle service. Be careful not to use them as an unequivocal source of information.