Diagnose Your Car at Home with ChiltonLibrary

3 min read

| By James Ormsbee, Manager, Chilton |

Like most of America, I’ve been at home. For weeks now. I only head out when I need to.

So last week, I had to run a few errands. When I started my truck—a 2006 GMC Sierra—an intolerable whine developed from under the hood, which only grew louder when the truck accelerated.

I had a general sense of what might be wrong and tried to pinpoint the source of the noise. But without proper diagnostic tools, I decided to bring it to a local service center and let them tackle the job. I did a little diagnostic research on ChiltonLibrary.com, and shared as many symptoms and possible causes as I could over the phone. The service advisor took down my information and instructed me to leave the truck in front of the service bays and drop my keys in a bucket. Easy enough.

Figure 1 is an example of a Chilton diagnostic tree.

Soon after, I received a callback with their diagnosis and estimate. The power-steering coolant line was leaking. The work would take a couple of hours, but they could have it ready that afternoon, assuring me they would also sanitize all the surfaces they touched before returning the truck.

Figure 2 shows a power steering cooler.

From discussing the problem to scheduling the repair to final payment, the entire process was managed over the phone. Easy. Efficient. Back on the road.

If your car needs service, consider the health of your technician and sanitize the touch points of your car before you leave it for service.  

Tips for sanitizing your car’s interior:

  • Alcohol solutions that contain at least 70 percent alcohol are effective against the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most interior surfaces of a vehicle can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Avoid bleach and hydrogen peroxide products. While they can both kill the coronavirus on surfaces, they’ll likely damage your car’s upholstery. And don’t use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens, as they can damage anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
  • Simple Ivory soap and water is safe and effective for most car interiors—especially fabrics and older leather that may have begun to crack. Be careful not to scrub too hard or saturate your car’s fabric.
  • Remember to thoroughly wash your own hands before and after driving. It’s still one of the best defenses against spreading COVID-19.

For more information about the safe operation of your car or truck, please visit ChiltonLibrary.com.

Stay well and please drive safely!

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