Keep Lines of Communication Open for Stress Free Repairs
Regular maintenance, repairs, and emergency services are inevitable when you own a car, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time in a repair shop over the life of your vehicle. To ensure that you get the best service it’s important to be a good customer by communicating well with automotive professionals.
Before driving your car into the repair shop, the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recommend that you get familiar with your vehicle’s owner’s manual so you are knowledgeable about your vehicle’s mechanics, record your vehicle’s service history, and do regular maintenance checks.
Be in tune with your vehicle’s signals that something is wrong, advises the ASE experts, so that you can communicate the issues clearly to the automotive professional.
“Be prepared to describe the symptoms,” advise the ASE experts. “Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician or service manager. Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell where it hurts and how long it’s been that way, but let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.”
Don’t be intimidated by automotive lingo—the ASE experts advise you to “ask as many questions as you need. Do not be embarrassed to request lay definitions.”
And, even if you’re desperate to get your car’s repairs underway as soon as possible, exercise some patience.
“Don’t rush the service writer or technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis,” advise the ASE experts. “Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begin.”
And, before you sign off on any repairs or leave the service center, the ASE experts recommend that you have a complete grasp of the center’s guarantees, acceptable methods of payment, and labor rates.