Every minute of every day, all across America, someone is walking into an auto repair shop with a stack of papers they printed from the internet, in an effort to prove what repairs their cars need.

Service Technicians Know Best

And every minute of every day, all across America, technicians are trying to keep a straight face as they examine that paperwork. Because they know those customers put a lot of effort into that research, and no one likes to be laughed at.

Not all of them are completely successful; sometimes a snicker escapes.

Why is it so funny? Because, while the internet can provide a wealth of knowledge and information, it also contains some of the most astoundingly idiotic assumptions ever imagined. Remember, there are no “information police” for the internet; people post whatever they think. A lot of the time what they think is just plain wrong.

And even when the information isn’t technically wrong, it can be misleading. Think about this: a headache can be a symptom of a brain aneurysm, but most of the time a couple aspirins is all that’s necessary. Boring a hole in your skull should usually wait until other possibilities have been ruled out.

Car Trouble Symptoms

The fact is, when it comes to your car, virtually every general symptom you can think of can be caused by a wide variety of problems. Some can be as simple as a blown fuse or loose connection. Others can be far more complicated… and more expensive.

The only way you can be sure you’re going to get the right repair, without paying for unnecessary work, is if you allow the technician to do his (or her) job. Explain the situation, clearly and in detail, and then let them handle the diagnosis.

That’s not to say they might not benefit from the results of your online search. Feel free to offer it to them. But make sure they know exactly what the complaint is, and then wait for them to diagnose it and make a repair recommendation.

And if that gives you a headache, try a couple aspirin.