As a car owner, you probably know how stressful car repairs can be. You have to be without a car for a while. You have to pay for the repair. And you have to make sure that the people who are repairing your car know what they are doing. The best way to reduce the stress is to walk into a car repair situation well prepared. Here are some tips for the things you can do when dealing with car repairs.
Prepare for a Visit to an Auto Repair Shop
If you are a seasoned driver who knows their way around a car, you don't have to worry about being overcharged by a mechanic. If, on the other hand, you know nothing or very little about cars, you will be a much easier mark. It's not like every mechanic will be out to swindle you. You just want to be prepared for those who will. Going into a car repair shop when you know nothing about cars requires preparation. You want to appear as if you know at least your own car very well.
Find a Couple of Repair Shops with a Good Reputation
Of course, you can and should make sure that the repair shop where you plan to take your car has a good reputation. Ask your friends, neighbors, family members, or coworkers where they repair their cars, and how happy they are with the service, quality of work, and pricing. Alternatively, you can go online and look for auto repair shop reviews.
Get Written Quotes
When you have determined a couple of repair shops that seem reputable enough, you should ask them for quotes. Ideally, you should get the quotes in writing. You don't have to look for the lowest price possible because a low price is rarely an indicator of good workmanship. Time, money, and quality of work are your main concerns. Quotes will help you get a sense of the costs, and maybe the length of the repairs.
Explain the Problems Accurately
Your preparations for a visit to a car shop will come in handy when you need to communicate with the mechanic. You should be able to explain accurately the problems you are experiencing with your car. If the problem is clearly visible you will not have to do a lot explaining. If it is only experienced while driving, you will have to describe them. Learning the terms used to describe common car problems is one of the things you should do when going into a car shop.
It doesn't hurt to ask additional questions before you decide to have your car repaired at a specific shop. Some of the more important questions you should ask are what warranty they offer on work such as auto glass repair, the origin of the parts they use, and which certification the mechanics have.
Prepare Your Car for the Mechanic and Stay Out of Their Way
Your car should be reasonably clean when you take it to the repair shop. Any clutter you might have inside the car should be removed. It is not just about common courtesy. Removing dirt and clutter can help the mechanics do their job better because dirt and clutter tend to get in the way.
Try not to bother the mechanics while they are working. There is no need for you to hang around them while they are repairing your car. You should, however, make sure they can reach you when the repair is done. You should also have a way of reaching them if the repair ends up taking more time than they said it would.
Have the Mechanic Walk You Through the Repairs
When the mechanics have finished their work, have them walk you through the repairs they have done. Look for any discrepancies between the work they said they will do and the work they actually did. Ask for explanations if they did repairs that were not mentioned before you agreed to have them repair your car.
Voice Your Concerns
If you are not happy with the quality of the work, or if you think you were overcharged, you should talk with the manager of the shop. Make sure that you explain why you are not happy with the work, and inquire about possible reparations. If that doesn't work, consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.