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Questions to Ask Your Mechanic Before the Next Big Fix

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MechanicShould your vehicle begin to emit a strange noise indicative of some potential problem, it is important to get your ride to your preferred mechanic.  It is easy to be tentative about taking your car or truck in for work; repairs can be costly and could leave you without a reliable mode of transportation for an undetermined amount of time.  How can you ease some of your stress and some of the pain of the process?  Go to the mechanic armed with knowledge and knowing the right questions to ask.

Questions to Ask Your Mechanic

If you aren’t certain and don’t see any stickers or signage to indicate it, the first thing you should ask your mechanic is whether or not they are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), Automotive Service Association (ASA), or AAA certified.  Possessing one or more of these certifications is as good as a guarantee of quality and increases the likelihood of a job done right.

It is also important to be certain that the mechanic even works on your kind of vehicle.  If your mechanic is a Ford specialist and you drive a Toyota, you would be better off looking elsewhere for mechanics more intimately familiar with your vehicle make and model.

Ask if the shop provides written estimates when giving your vehicle over to avoid the potential for hidden charges.  Some states require it by law, but it is always wise to ask beforehand.  Additionally, despite whatever certification the shop may boast, be certain that the shop offers a sufficient warranty on parts and labor.  Standard warranties tend to run around 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.  Anything less would be uncivilized.

Finally, feel free to get personal.  Ask your mechanic about their experience with repairs, how long they’ve been working on cars, and what customer feedback has been about their work.  The more experience and the more positive feedback, the better.

There is no such thing as a stupid question (provided, of course, you aren’t asking your mechanic to repair your one-horsepower horse), so ask the important questions before you hand over the keys.