Whether it's scheduled maintenance or an unexpected catastrophe, making necessary auto repairs is hardly a fun way to spend your time and money. However, with the right automotive technician, you can be assured your experience will be a good one.
Here are six questions to ask when seeking out a trustworthy and qualified technician.
Do you work on my car make?
Most auto shops work regularly with most American makes like Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge, as well as many Japanese and Korean makes like Honda, Toyota, Subaru and Hyundai. However, some European makes, like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Land Rover and Volkswagen may require your vehicle be taken to a specialty shop. To avoid wasting time, be sure to ask upfront if their shop works on your make of car.
What automotive associations does this shop belong to?
Most reputable shops are associated with automotive associations like AAA or the Automotive Service Association. Organizations such as these require that their members adhere to industry regulations and the association’s code of ethics. AAA, for example, puts repair shops through a rigorous review process to make sure they meet industry and customer service standards before they are recommended to AAA members. This can give you the peace of mind to know that other well-known associations have given their quality stamp of approval on your shop.
Will you call me with any unexpected discoveries or expenses during repair?
Always ask that the automotive technician speak with you before doing any more required work or repairs. This will eliminate any unexpected sticker shock or feelings of being taken advantage of. Even if it is a repair that is necessary, it should always be a best practice for the shop to call and give the client a heads up of anything comes up that wasn't originally quoted or discussed.
Will you prioritize the repairs for me?
Having multiple issues contributing to a problem with your car is common. Upon receiving the diagnosis from your automotive technician, ask them to rank the needed repairs. This will allow you to understand what is most important to be repaired and what can wait — giving your wallet time to rebuild.
Are the parts and services under warranty?
The last thing you want is to have to pay to fix the same problem more than once. Be sure to verify what repairs and parts are covered by warranty and for how long. As a standard, keep in mind that AAA requires their “approved auto repair facilities” to guarantee all repairs, parts and labor for a minimum of 12 months or 12,000 miles. If a shop mentions only warranting up to 90 days, or some other short amount of time, be wary and perhaps look elsewhere.
Can you explain how you fixed it?
Asking this question can seem intimidating, especially if you don't understand much about cars. Ask it anyway, but don’t worry about understanding much detail about the repair work. What this question is really about is building a relationship with the technician and not just the service advisor behind the counter. Doing this will allow you to personally get to know and build a relationship of trust with who is working on your car. That way they can get to know you and the specific needs of your car, thus building a relationship of trust with that technician for the future.
For those looking for a new automotive repair center that fits the bill outlined above, Jensen Tire & Auto is the only choice. Since 1973, its professionally trained associates and certified technicians have delivered the best tire and auto service in the region at the most competitive prices and the most convenient locations. Concerned about that check engine light? Jensen Tire & Auto will take care of you.