Common GM Auto Repair Terms

Auto repairs can be intimidating for the average person. Most of us are unfamiliar with the technical terminology and advanced technology used by mechanics today. Find a trustworthy, professional mechanic here the Sacramento area to service your GM vehicle that will take the time to answer all your questions and concerns in laymen’s terms and explain each service that he/she recommends. Following is an outline of just a few common auto repair services and terms that you might encounter with your GM vehicle. This might help you become familiar with some of the concepts used at your auto repair shop.

GM Repair Sacramento, CA

Computerized Diagnostics

Engines in modern GM vehicles today are computerized and complex to understand. Federal regulations require new vehicles to use electronic engine control systems as a means to control carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. Now, advanced control systems take the place of simple engine components making old tune-up services less important and computerized analysis a vital part of maintaining your vehicle. Regular services such as spark plugs and filter replacements are still needed, but the overall auto repair environment has completely changed and requires service by factory-trained technicians.

Sometimes it is difficult to understand why you should pay for diagnostics fees, especially when it comes to trouble codes. Often we think that the simple reading of a trouble code (which takes less than five minutes) completes the repair process, when actually, it’s just the beginning. For example, the P0503 code, which indicates a malfunctioning vehicle speed sensor, has forty-one steps spanning eleven pages in a shop manual after the code has been set. Examining those forty-one steps takes time and expertise.

Ultimately, it really is less expensive to pay a qualified technician for a proper diagnosis than it is to replace components based on a hunch of what might be wrong. Senior master automobile technicians actually have a vast amount of experience and training which is valuable to the consumer?

Check Engine Light

We have all seen it. Your check engine light comes on and you have no idea why. This does not have to be alarming, but it should not be ignored. Letting the check engine light warning go unchecked for too long can lead to problems in the future. The Check Engine Light (CEL) shows you that your vehicle’s computer has found a problem in your emissions control system. This can be something as simple as your gas cap is not on tight enough or it can mean there is water in the engine somehow or your spark plugs are not functioning properly. It takes an electronic scan tool or a diagnostic computer to determine the actual problem. So, when you see “check engine”, “service engine soon” or a red engine picture light come on, visit your auto repair shop for a quick diagnostic test to fix the problem and eliminate future issues.


There are several things that can cause your vehicle to go out of alignment. Most vehicles need an alignment after a collision of any kind. Even a minor collision can cause physical damage to your car’s frame. Sometimes even less significant things such as driving through a pothole or grazing a curb can cause the problem.

If you have problems steering or notice unusual wear on your tires, it is probably time for an alignment. Driving without proper alignment decreases gas mileage and the life of your tires. It adds stress to your car’s steering equipment and structure. A misaligned vehicle pulls and drives away from a straight road and can put you at risk. If your tires have excessive wear due to poor alignment, this can lead to tire blow-outs and poor traction, also putting you at risk.

These are just a few of the terms and services available for your vehicle. Finding a trusted mechanic to handle all of these things, and more, is so very important. The best practice is to find a dependable and honest auto repair shop before your need important services. This will save you time and ensure your car continues to offer peak performance!