You’ve probably heard it said that it’s a changing world. And that is certainly true when it comes to automobiles.

Now, in the past I have told you for emergencies and so on you should always have a fully charged cell phone in the car. But now we have something else that you should be using your cell phone for. That is to record vital information about your car. Specifically the VIN; vehicle information number which is right here in the windshield. Take a picture of it, make sure that it’s a legible picture. Because that is what is going to tell you a lot of information about the car when you have to take it in for service or if you have to buy parts for it.

Now, again with the cell phone. Go inside the driver’s door or the fuel filler cap you will find a decal that gives you production date and tire pressure and gross vehicle weights and all of that stuff. Take a picture of that. So that you have it recorded in your phone, again, for service and parts purchasing. So it can really save you a lot of time.

Now, another thing that you need to be aware of is the car’s got problems. And that means there might be recalls and there may be TSB’s. TSB’s; technical service bulletin. They’re not the same thing.

A recall is where the manufacturer or somebody has found a safety defect and they are going to recall the car, they are going to fix it for you. It’s typically going to be free of charge. TSB is where the manufacturer or a collection of technicians have found the answer to a common problem. And they publish that answer.

Now say that you have an electrical problem that might take five hours to diagnose yet there is a technical service bulletin that takes five minutes to look up. Well that five minutes could save five hours worth of diagnostic time.

So, here’s the rule. You want to make sure to understand what these are and before you take your car in for repairs, make sure the shop is going to look on sites like the safer cars site or something like that to get the technical service bulletins and the recalls for your car. Could save you an enormous amount of money. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.