Most people get into the garage with their damaged vehicle and hand over the keys to the car repair technician and let him inspect the problem. All they do is wait for the bad news of a big disaster and a long invoice. Well, you can do this if you are a super-rich guy. However, people who value their money and don’t want any problem in the near future need to read on.
With surveys and expert opinions, it is seen that a person can save a lot of time and money by having an open, detailed, and honest conversation with the mechanic before the bolts start to fly.
Let us clear out a myth here. Most people perceive that the more they ask about the repair, the more ‘a repair’ will cost. It is wrong. However, it may introduce yourself as a knowledgeable and concerned car owner, and a repair mechanic will take extra care of your vehicle while fixing the issues.
The inverse to this myth is actually true.
We understand that handing your car over to a mechanic isn’t a decision you take easy or lightly. When trusting a repair shop with your pricey and most valuable possession, it’s important that you feel confident it’s in good hands.
Here’s a pro-tip. If your car repair technician fails to answer these questions or ignore them intentionally, just get off that garage instantly.
So, here is this handy checklist of queries to ensure that you get the repair experience that you, and your car, deserve.
Can you show me the problem with my car?
Most mechanics think that their customer is really dumb and they can do whatever they want. However, if you ask them to show the part or area causing the problem, it’ll be complicated for them to trick you (if they had the intention.)
While some problems are internal and not easy to point at, you can always show concern and confidence towards your vehicle. Doing this little step will also keep you aware of the vehicle condition before repairs.
P.S. Having a visual conversation between you and your car repair technician will make a tech’s explanation easier to understand.
What caused the problem?
Yes, you can always ask this. Because every car owner knows their car model and condition. Asking about the damage will help you in avoiding further repairs. You can ask:
- Is this problem common with my car’s model?
- Do my driving habits affect my car condition and responsible for this damage?
- Is there any preventive measure that should have helped to prevent the problem?
- Has the problem something to do with the age of the vehicle?
There can be multiple reasons why your car may break down. Try to analyze and find the problematic area and fix it. In fact, a trained car repair technician will always offer you excellent tips on how to prevent recurring problems.
What kind of warranties do you offer on repair services?
Several auto repair shops offer warranties on the repairs they do, but it varies from shop to shop. A collision expert repair shop will offer a long-time warranty on dent repairs etc., while the tire replacement shop can guarantee their tire repairs. So, before actually letting them do their thing, ask them about the warranty options.
Here’s a sign for you. Repair shops that are confident and expert in their work will always offer warranties before you even ask for them. That’s how you can choose the right repair shop too.
Do you offer written estimates for free?
Before handing over your car, one would want to have an idea of the total repair cost. That’s where estimates play an important role. Ask for a written statement that has the following things mentioned:
- Problem with the car
- Replacement parts
- Repair time
- Labor cost
- Total repairing charges
Any smart person will expect to have a detailed estimate in writing and signed by the mechanic before proceeding with any vehicle repair. A well-reputed repair shop will do this instantly via their auto repair invoice software to avoid conflicts after the repair, and that’s a very responsible gesture.
Getting an estimate will provide you with an idea of how much you will be paying for the problem to be fixed and avoid future uncertainty in the final cost and the repairs done.
How long will it take to repair my car?
No one wants to leave their car in the garage for long. Not because there may be trust issues, but they actually need it. So, before you leave your vehicle with the mechanic, make sure to about the turnaround time. Depending on the criticality of the repair, it may take a few hours or can also take a week or more to get it fixed. Sometimes, they need to order replacement parts and then continue the repair. Ask in detail and keep connected.
Can you explain how you fixed it?
You may be thinking that I don’t know much about the car engine or technical issues inside the body, but don’t worry. This question is a post-repair query and is usually asked to check the credibility and skills of the tech person.
This question’s primary purpose is to build a relationship with the technician and not just the service advisor behind the counter. That’s how you’ll know more about them, and you can choose them for future repair if they’re good at their work.
Can you provide me with a maintenance plan?
Now, this is an important question to further avoid visiting an auto repair shop and saving your money. A well-skilled car repair technician will not only repair your car and bring it back to its excellent condition, but they would also like you to keep the vehicle in good condition.
Ask them if the car needs an oil change in the next month or does the replacement part needs a touch-up after completing 1000 miles on the road. Don’t only rely on the technician’s advice. Instead, check it with your manufacturer’s manual.
Remember, it is imperative to follow those authenticated recommendations provided by your car owner and then decide.
Can You Walk Me Through the Repair Charges?
Your total invoice will have both separate repair charges and total cost. Get your invoice and compare it with the pre-repair receipt. Find out any mismatched numbers and ask for clarification. Take your time and look into that for any discrepancies. Check if you were charged only for labor and replacement parts or for diagnostics too? See the post-repair test run charges and then pay for it.
If you find any repair cost higher than expected, ask away. Not because it is about money, but because it will assist you in understanding your vehicle and its repair better.
It also demonstrates the honesty of the repair shop’s service staff.
A mechanic who answers all of these questions and satisfies you with suitable answers is your perfect match, and you can trust them for future services too. Don’t just rush into the repair or feel shy about asking these questions because an experienced and efficient auto mechanic will appreciate your thoroughness and be happy to help you. Good Luck!