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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Car Trouble

“I’m having trouble with my car. Where are your auto repair books?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff instructed the patron in the use of our online catalog to find the location of the auto repair manuals.

There is a large selection of repair materials in the books numbered with 629s, but these did not have the information needed by the patron. After discussion with her, she said, “The problem isn’t with the engine, the wiring, or the body. The problem is with the seat arm; it has begun tilting downward and it is driving me crazy.” The library has purchased the use of the online database, AllData, which provides comprehensive automotive reference for domestic and foreign cars, trucks, and vans from 1982 to the present. Maintenance information, technical service bulletins, schematics and diagrams are included. Since access to the database is only available within the library, the patron ‘borrowed’ a computer using her library card.

All Data is accessed by going to “Library Databases” on the library’s homepage. Then from All Data, she selected the year, make, model and engine of her vehicle. It is possible to do a component search in All Data, but we first went to the Technical Service Bulletins. There was nothing of interest listed under Recalls, but there was an extensive list of things under Customer Interest. A bulletin was issued for “Armrest Angled Down on Front Driver or Passenger Seat When Seat is in Upright Position.” This was exactly the problem the patron was experiencing with her vehicle. She printed a copy of the information, including the instructions on how to correct the problem. Since the vehicle was still under warranty, the dealership repaired the armrest for her free of charge. It was interesting looking at all the noises reported by other customers who own the same vehicle. Apparently hissing, squeaking, whistling, squealing, fluttering, shuddering, vibrating, whining, clunking, popping, rattling, and itching noises have been reported to dealerships. This is a useful tool in understanding one’s vehicle, and learning what may be a concern which should be dealt with by a mechanic

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