Taking a passive approach to getting your car fixed at the local repair shop is generally not in your best interests. If your vehicle has a particular issue that you’re concerned about…do yourself and your car repair technician a favor by taking a few seconds to clarify (even write down) your description of what you’ve noticed as potentially wrong…i.e. noises, smells and any visible signs like leaks…anything unusual. Most experts profess that a simple candid conversation with your mechanic up front can save both of you some precious time and save you potential dollars.
Many customers believe that the more they talk, the more [a repair] will cost,” …“The inverse is actually true. Many times a seemingly insignificant statement from the customer can be a true gem to the technician.” ~ Michael Peth – Ohio Technical College (Auto Repair)
If you’re about to visit a repair shop that you’ve never been to before…question #1 you should answer for yourself by checking online (Google it!) is to make sure the shop is licensed by the state regulatory agency in which you live. Also check online customer reviews to get a feel for what other customers have experienced.
- Written Estimate of Repair Cost? – …and how long it will take to fix? Might seem obvious, but many people forget to iron out those details in advance.
- Need a Little More Time? – Chances are most repairs are routine and fairly predictable. Sometimes, it’s not so easy and diagnosing can be a bit more tedious…especially with the increasingly complex and computerized vehicles of today. Try to be flexible and give your mechanic the time they need to fix the problem.
- What Can Be Prioritized? – If the written estimate that your mechanic provides you is a bit longer than you expected…the key is to not panic. Go over every item in detail and ask the technician for help in determining which repairs absolutely must be done now…and which can wait a few weeks or months.