How to avoid bad "auto service" or paying to much for "hype" only.

Posted by Fixit


How to avoid bad "auto service" or paying to much for "hype" only.

(1) Pay attention to the shops with a catch phrase on the door or window such as:

"Detail oriented like you can't imagine."

"Perfection is expected. Excellence will be tolerated."

"Live your vehicle to the fullest."

"We take care of the vehicle that takes care of you every day."

"Drive toward perfection in every detail."

"We do it right everytime."

If you see this type of hype, AVOID the "auto service" because its PROBABLY  an inferior "auto care" shop.

What they mean by "great auto care" is trying to sell you a bill of goods they can't deliver.

You will be coming back "the second or third time" because the work preformed will have not been done correct the first time.

You will be told maybe it was a defective part etc but not to worry the warranty covers the 2nd or 3rd time visit you will be making that they don't tell you about.

(2) Don't rely on websites that are paid to increase user feedback in a positive way. If you do you will tricked into thinking the repair shop is a popular place to get your car or truck fixed when it fact they are paying for people to make ther business look good on the web.

(3) If you do make the mistake of getting your car or truck, "fixed" the 2nd or 3rd time because of incompetent work, don't return and give the "auto care" shop more money to "fix" your vechicle. You may be subjected to the same low quality work and excuses as to why you had to return because the work on your vechicle was not done right the first time.

(4) ASE certification means at least ONE mechanic has passed a test. It does not mean that ALL the mechanics in the "repair" shop are ASE certified. It can also can mean that a FORMER ASE certified mechanic worked at the "repair" shop. So if only one was originally certified as an ASE technician and that person no longer works for the "repair" shop as a mechanic the ASE logo on the wall or door means NOTHING!

Although you would expect shops that employ certified technicians to rate higher than shops without them on our survey’s “doing work properly” question, this is not the case. One explanation is that ASE certification ensures the competence of only individual mechanics.

Competence of one or a few mechanics in one or more service specialties does not guarantee competence of a shop’s other mechanics, much less their diligence and honesty. And certification of some mechanics doesn’t ensure good communication within the shop or between the shop and its customers.

You need to ask if all the mechanics are ASE certified and see the proof. If they "repair" shop is not willing to answer you question go somewhere else and find a shop where inferior auto care is not the norm.

(5) If possible ask someone you know that has got work done at the "repair" shop. Ask them if it was done right the first time. Ask them if the "repair" shop was willing to give them an ACCURATE estimate of the labor and parts costs.

(6) Shop around if you need to to find a quality repair shop that has mechanics that know what they are doing. Don't settle for the facade of a nice building that has mechanics that are semi trained to work on your vechicle.

(7) Whatever shop you choose, deal with it in a businesslike manner. Be especially thorough the first time you use it.

(8) Give the shop a detailed written description of your car’s symptoms.

If possible, speak with the repair technician who will be working on your car.

Either get a written estimate in advance or write on the repair ticket that no work is to be done without your approval based on a written estimate.

Get a written, dated invoice that details parts and labor and the vehicle’s odometer reading.

Call the parts dealer where the shop is getting the parts and find out how much the parts cost before any work is done.

Pay by credit card.

If the car is still not right when you get it back, immediately inform the shop in writing.

(9) When they need car repairs, most consumers ask their friends for suggestions.

Does It Have a History of Complaints?

Does AAA Approval Matter? Yes. Check this also.

Does It Have Customer-Friendly Business Practices?

Does It Charge Reasonable Prices?

Does It Have a Low Labor Rate?

Does It Levy Large Miscellaneous Charges?

But be aware word of mouth is no GUARANTEE of quality work, its only an indicator.

(10) If you find the car was not fixed correctly, take it back right away. The best approach is to get the service writer to put a signed and dated acknowledgment that you brought the problem to the shop’s attention on your copy of the bill. Alternatively, send the shop an email citing the problem and your intention to bring back the car to have it corrected.

Do not rely on the service writer’s oral promise that you can bring in the car any time for a free adjustment. You may find later that the writer can’t remember the promise and believes the problem is a new one caused by something that happened after the car left the shop.

(11) Inferior Auto Care is as common as the rain. Quality auto care is less common so it takes an effort to weed out the facade of shops that look good but can't deliever your auto repairs right the FIRST TIME.


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