Auto repair covers a wide range of repairs for your automobile. Finding the right auto repair shop can be vital when it comes to repairing the vehicle that is responsible for you and your family’s safety. Here is a list of common questions and answers when it comes to auto repair.
How do I find the right Auto Repair Shop?
When choosing an auto repair shop, it is a good idea to find one before you actually need one. This will help you avoid making rash, last-minute decisions without all of the information. Often, the best gauge of a reputable auto repair shop is what your friends, family and coworkers suggest. These word-of-mouth recommendations can point you in the direction of a mechanic who they trust and have had good experiences with.
Depending on state and local law, auto repair shops may be required to be licensed or registered. If this is the case, it is always a good idea to ask to see the current licenses. You can also check with your State Attorney General or local consumer protection agency about any complaints the repair shop may have received and how they were handled.
In addition to finding a mechanic that you trust, you will need to make sure that they are able to assist you with the required auto repairs. Sometimes different shops have different specialties and because of this, if they aren’t able to do the work you require you may have to look elsewhere.
It is also advisable that you find an auto repair shot that will honor your vehicle’s warranty. Many mechanics will also warranty their own work to give you added piece of mind that they stand behind what they do for you.
If there are multiple auto repair shops that meet the above criteria, then you may consider shopping around for the best deal or finding a shop that makes you feel comfortable.
How do I find the right Auto Repair Mechanic?
You may have found the ideal auto repair shop, only to realize that there are several mechanics or technicians. Finding the right technician is just as important as finding the right repair shop. Shops that display certifications for things like the Automotive Service Excellence seal will show that some or all of the mechanics and technicians have met basic knowledge and competence standards in specific areas. You will want to double check to make sure that these certifications have been obtained recently and ask which specific mechanics and technicians in the auto repair shop have met the certification requirements.
It is important to remember that a certification alone does not necessarily mean that you are getting a guarantee of good and honest work. That is why word-of-mouth recommendations and the other things mentioned above are so important.
Getting an Estimate for Auto Repair
When you are seeking out auto repairs, it is important to get a signed cost estimate for the work you are requesting. This estimate should include the repairs, parts, and labor that you can expect to pay. You will want to make sure that the estimate advises that the mechanic, technician or auto repair shop will contact you for approval on any other work that is not listed on the estimate. You can also request that they contact you before performing any repairs that may exceed a specific amount of time or money.
Many auto repair shops charge a flat rate for labor. This rate is typically based on the manufacturer’s estimate of how long it would take to complete the repair. Some shops may charge on the actual length of time worked. You should always check ahead of time to see which method the repair shop that you’ve chosen uses. This can help eliminate confusion about payment.
Getting a Second Opinion for Auto Repairs
Occasionally while a mechanic or technician is working on an issue in your vehicle, they may discover other work that they recommend should be done. If you are uncertain about if the additional work needs done then you may wish to consult your vehicle’s owner manual or get a second opinion from another auto repair shop that you trust.
It is also wise to seek out a second opinion or a second estimate if the required repairs are very expensive or complicated. You may consider getting a second opinion from a shop that does diagnostic work. These types of auto repair shops do not sell parts or do repairs so they will be able to give you an objective opinion on which repairs are necessary. However, many repair shops do charge for diagnostic time so you will want to ask about this prior to having your vehicle evaluated.
After Auto Repairs are Complete
After the auto repairs have been completed on your vehicle, you will want to get a completed repair order. This will describe the work done and list each repair, part, and labor charge. It should also include the vehicle’s odometer reading when you dropped it off at the shop for repair. Not all shops will provide this to you so you will want to request the information.
This is a good time to ask for a copy of the mechanic or technician’s warranty in writing if they haven’t already given you a copy. This warranty will typically cover the parts and work that the mechanic has put into the vehicle. You will want to be sure to call right away should any problems arise.
What Types of Parts are used in Auto Repair?
When having repairs done on your vehicle, the auto repair shop may ask if you prefer only new auto parts or if you would be okay with rebuilt/remanufactured parts or salvaged parts. New auto parts will usually offer a warranty but are typically more expensive. Rebuilt or remanufactured parts are parts that have been restored to their like-new working condition. Typically, these types of parts also have a warranty and using these can save you some money. Salvaged parts are parts that have been salvaged from a vehicle without any alteration. Sometimes, this is the only way you can get certain parts but they do not usually offer any type of warranty.
It is important to note that there is no standard warranty when it comes to auto repairs. So any warranty should be done in writing and you should ask for a copy. Warranties can sometimes be limited in time, mileage, or special procedures. If you have any questions about the warranty you will want to ask right away to eliminate any confusion.
Benefits of Preventative Maintenance
One of the best things you can do for your vehicle is to use preventative maintenance. This will cut back on the number of surprise auto repair issues that you will have. Ignoring preventative maintenance schedules can lead to larger problems since many parts of the vehicle work together. This is why it is important to always change your oil and check the coolant. Not doing these things can result in poor fuel economy, breakdowns and it can also void your warranty.
To keep your vehicle in the best possible condition you will want to follow the manufacturer’s preventative maintenance schedule that is located in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. If you no longer have the owner’s manual then you should contact the manufacturer to get a replacement or get a copy of the preventative maintenance schedule.
Your auto repair shop may also suggest their own maintenance schedule which, often times, requires more frequent servicing than the manufacturer recommends. You can ask the auto repair shop to explain their reasoning behind their schedule and determine which schedule will work best for you.
Keep copies of all work done on your vehicle and all transactions. Write down your experiences along with the dates times and names of the auto repair shop and mechanic or technician you worked with. It is wise to keep copies of bills and estimates as well. By keeping all of this information you are protecting yourself and your investment in your car.
If a problem ever arises, you should first speak with the auto repair shop to settle the problem.
If you have any questions about auto repair please call Lorentz Automotive.