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Your hands and feet are equally useful for diagnosing mechanical issues. Your hands can be used to diagnose problems with everything from the AC and heating system to the steering.

Use your sense of touch. To diagnose car issues using your sense of touch, you don’t need to go around and physically touch every component of your vehicle. Instead, use it to sense unusual vibrations and other indicators that something is amiss.

Inspect the dashboard and center console components. To do a brief inspection of the dashboard and center console components while the car is parked, test components such as the turn signals, windshield wipers, AC controls, and audio system controls to ensure that they are working properly.

Check the AC vents. Turn the AC fan control up most of the way and put your hand in front of the air vent to ensure that the system is blowing cold air. If the AC system is not working properly, or if the knob(s) controlling it are not functioning, then you should contact a certified technician.

Feel your steering wheel. When you’re holding on to the steering wheel, you can use your hands to identify any problems that you may feel through the steering wheel:

The steering wheel vibrating or shaking indicates a problem with the wheels or brakes. If the steering wheel feels loose, it indicates a problem with the tie rods or ball joints. If the steering wheel is hard to turn, it indicates a problem with the power steering components.

If the steering wheel not responding correctly, it indicates a problem with the steering column or steering rack.

A problem with the transmission may make it difficult to shift. It also may cause trouble while getting into and out of gear. You can recognize this problem right away if you pay attention to how the transmission feels.

Feel the pedals. Your feet are also very useful when it comes to diagnosing issues. Once a problem pops up with any of the pedals, it is a straightforward process to identify the source of the problem.

If there is an issue with the gas pedal, such as poor throttle response or if the pedal sticks to the floor, there is likely a mechanical problem with the engine, fuel delivery system, or a return spring in the pedal.

If there is a problem when the brake pedal is pressed, such as vibrations or unintended steering, then the problem is likely within the braking system of the vehicle. A pedal that vibrates is usually due to warped brake rotors or failing brake pads.

If your car has a manual transmission, then you also have a clutch pedal to deal with. The most common problem with the clutch pedal is a sudden lack of resistance when it is pushed, allowing the pedal to go all the way to the floor without returning as normal.


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