The Complete Consumer Guide for Using a Repair Shop

Desert Oasis Auto Repair Auto Repair

new look collision

Using a car repair or service shop for the first time can be an intimidating experience, if you are not prepared or familiar with the process. However, with the little know-how provided in this article, you can make it a pleasant experience and be confident from beginning to end.

Identifying the Problem

The first step of the process happens naturally; when a problem arises with your vehicle it may be anything from a sound to a strange feeling. While the internet can be a wonderful resource to identify a problem it should only be used to familiarize yourself with potential problems and the recommended cost of repairs. Nowadays, almost all problems can be identified with a diagnostic run by a mechanic. They simply plug a diagnostic computer into your car’s ECU and in most cases it tells the mechanic what is wrong.

Getting an Estimate

At this point, the mechanic can give you an accurate price to complete whatever service is required. Most shops charge around $100 for a complete diagnostic. However, most shops credit some of that cost to the total bill if you decide to have them move forward with the repairs. The only time you’re charged for the full diagnostic is if it’s the only work being done. Either way, at the end of the diagnostic you will have an estimated cost of the work. The diagnostic will tell the mechanic what parts are needed and how much time the job will take.

Finding the Right Repair Shop

Finding the right mechanic can be a nerve-racking task… On the web, new resources are emerging on a regular basis. Customers are eager to review their experience, both good or bad, and publish it online. Some of the most popular and reputable sites that a customer can use are: Angie’s List and Yelp. Before selecting the repair shop the consumer wants to check if there are ratings with the Better Business Bureau. Finally, check Pissed Consumer’s “Auto repair” section just to make sure the shop they selected is not listed. If all checks out, you are ready to begin a relationship with your new service shop.

Rental Cars and Shuttle Service

If you have ever gone a day without a car, and don’t live in a large city, you know that getting around can be extremely difficult. Luckily, many service shops offer a loaner car or shuttle service to get you to and from the shop as well as to and from work. Some shops, depending on their policy, will even take you to run errands. This largely depends on the service shop. If the work being done requires the mechanic to have your car overnight or longer; then, you want to address the issue of transportation first and foremost. If you need to leave your car with them and they do not provide any type of transportation, you may want to do business with another repair shop. However, some repair shops have long relationships with a rental car company and can provide you with their discount on a rental car.

Parts: A Note on Cost and Warranties

When choosing the replacement parts for your vehicle there are two options available to you: “aftermarket” and “OEM”,”original equipment manufacturer”, parts. Aftermarket parts are made by other companies and are less expensive. OEM parts are a little more expensive and usually have longer warranties. Before any work is done on the car, it is your responsibility to ask what type of parts the mechanic is planning on using for the job. If you decide that you only want OEM then you should ask for OEM parts. However, If you are looking to save some money you can also request aftermarket replacement parts. Both will likely have a different cost and warranty. Whichever you decide, it is important to understand what you are getting. Make sure to know your cost and your warranty. Should the part fail, you will need this info at hand; whether you are returning to the same mechanic or going to a different one.

With all this taken into consideration and done thoroughly, you should be walking into a repair shop for the first time feeling confident in your new adventure. Following these guidelines will protect you, as much as possible, from having a bad experience. We hope our benchmark guide to properly choosing a shop has helped.