Auto Maintenance and repair can be an expensive endeavor. Most people find it challenging to find a good and honest mechanic. Many mechanics will make up repairs that don’t need to be done to make more money from the transaction. Those mechanics that do this count on the fact that most people don’t know much about cars. Here is everything you need to know about auto repairs.
Find a Licensed Shop
All automotive shops should hold an automotive repair license. Most people will do an internet search to find a shop. However, before taking your car to the location, you should do some research. Once you arrive at the shop, you should ensure that the state-issued license is clearly displayed.
Having an automotive repair license does not guarantee the work. However, an unlicensed repair shop will be more likely to be shady in the transaction.
How to Find a Good Auto Repair Shop:
- Take recommendations from family and friends and others whom you trust.
- Search for a repair shop before your car needs repairs, so you are not rushed.
- Shop around online for the ideal auto repair shop using their website and reviews.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the shop is in good standing.
- Ensure the shop will honor your car’s warranty if you still have one.
- Ensure all technicians employed at the shop are licensed and have a good reputation.
Understand Repairs and Charges
Before agreeing to any repairs, you should know upfront what the auto repair shop charges for labor per hour. Once the technician identifies the issue(s), they will give you an estimate of the repairs. Do not agree to the repairs and costs until you research the repair yourself.
The number of hours a repair takes is not literal hours. There is a standardized manual put out by manufacturers that lists the flag hours each type of repair will take. If the mechanic takes longer or finishes sooner, the number of hours charged will be the number of flag hours determined for that repair.
To ensure you are not charged more than you should be, ask the technician to tell you the repair name, look up the flag hours with the manufacturer, or ask the tech to show you the flag hours. You can also look up the general costs of parts so you can ensure the estimates are accurate.
Always ensure you get the estimate in writing once you accept the repairs and estimate. Also, ensure that no other work will be done before you approve it, so there are no surprise repairs or costs when you pay and pick up the vehicle.
Get a Second Opinion
If you are getting reasonably standard repairs, you may not need to get a second opinion. However, if an unfamiliar shop or technician recommends costly repairs or brings up unexpected repairs, you should get another shop and technician to look at your vehicle before you agree to any repairs.
It is in your best interest not to advise the second mechanic of the repairs suggested by the first to ensure there is honest concurrence. Once you have two independent technicians agree about the repairs, you can proceed to have the work done with a signed and written estimate for the work.
After the Work is Complete
Obtain a finalized repair order explaining the work done. It must list every repair done and partly provided, the final cost of every repair and part, the vehicle’s odometer reading, and labor charges.
Protecting Your Auto Repair Investment
There is no standard warranty for repairs. However, you should enquire about part warranties and labor guarantees before agreeing to the repairs. Ensure that all guarantees and warranties are in writing. Understand the warranty restrictions, including mileage, time, deductibles, or any other restrictions the auto repair shop has if their work or the part fails.
Heading Off Problems
The more knowledge you have about your vehicle, the more likely you will head off the repair issues. Take your car in for regular preventative maintenance and drive your car carefully. Be aware of any changes in the vehicle’s drivability and take your car for diagnostics if you hear, smell, or sense an issue. Many issues will be less costly if caught early.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.