When your vehicle needs repair, the last thing you want to think about is which of the hundreds of mechanics you should choose. Although there are many reputable repair shops, there are always those few businesses that profit from convincing consumers into unnecessary car repairs.
In 2011 alone, BBB received more than 14,500 complaints against auto repair services and fielded more than 1.5 million inquiries from consumers looking to find a reliable business in the industry. Many of the complaints received by BBB fell under billing, service, and refund and exchange issues.
How can you avoid getting sucked into pointless repairs? When discussing your car’s problems, don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself. Although you may need to describe sounds or symptoms, by diagnosing the problem you are giving unreliable mechanics an easy-in to convince you of avoidable repairs.
Before leaving your car at the repair shop, ensure that any work cannot begin until you have a written estimate of the costs and your approval for the work to begin. Have the service manager write a request at the bottom of the repair order directing to get your permission prior to any additional repairs. Also, make sure you know the cost of labor before you leave so you don’t get caught off-guard when paying your final bill.
If your car is lucky enough to be under warranty, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many people are unaware that you will most likely be required to have your repairs done at an authorized dealership. You may end up accidentally voiding the warranty by doing business with another dealership, leaving you up to your arms in payments that should have been covered.
When picking up your vehicle, ask that all work and guarantees are provided to you in writing. Be sure to ask what was installed in your car so you are aware if a problem that was “guaranteed” occurs at a later time. Finally, ask that your repair bill is itemized so you can easily see what has recently been repaired.
If you are looking for a reliable shop, ask good friends for recommendations. Be sure to check with BBB about the shop's reliability at bbb.org. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for explanations of the problem so you understand what needs to be done and what you will be paying for.
Utilizing these BBB tips help to ensure you get your car fixed without a glitch!