Educational Consumer Tips

Auto/Vehicle Repair & Services

Author: Better Business Bureau

The following comments provide general information for consumers, and do not necessarily reflect the practices or record of any particular company.

Follow the manufacturer's requirements if your vehicle is under warranty. In looking for a repair shop, ask friends and family for recommendations. Look for shops that display certification like an **Automotive Service Excellence Seal which indicates some or all the technicians have met basic standards. Make sure certification is recent and keep in mind, this alone is not an absolute guarantee of good or honest work.

If major repairs are required, you may want to find a dealer or repair shop specializing in the type of repair needed. If you are in doubt about what the problem is, let the shop diagnose the problem. However, be as specific and accurate as possible in describing the problem.

Always get an estimate for parts and labor and ask the shop to contact you for approval before performing any work exceeding a specified amount of time or money.

When you pick up your vehicle, ask the service manager to explain all work completed and all replacements made. Also, ask that any major new parts that have been installed by pointed out to you, if possible. If the shop guarantees its work, get the guarantee in writing. Be sure that your bill itemizes the repairs so if a problem occurs later, you can prove that the item in question is covered by the guarantee.

(**National Institute for Automotive service Excellence (ASE)
101 Blue Seal Dr, SE, Suite 101
Leesburg, VA 20175
E-mail: )