Choose a reliable repair shop recommended to you by family or friends or an independent consumer rating organizaton. When you take the car to the shop, describe the symptoms. Don't diagnose the problem. Get more than one estimate. Get them in writing. Make it clear that work cannot begin until you have authorized it. Don't authorize work without a written estimate or, if the problem can't be diagnosed on the spot, insist that the shop contact you for your authorization once the trouble has been found. Don't sign a blank repair order. Make sure the repair order reflects what you want done before you sign it. Is the repair covered under warranty? Follow the warranty instructions. Ask the shop to keep the old parts for you. Get all warranties in writing. Keep copies of all paperwork. On May 2, 2001, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed house bill 861 which states in part: Before beginning any repair work on a motor vehicle, an automotive repair facility shall inform the customer that a consumer may request a written estimate for repairs that cost in excess of $250.00 and may not be charged over 25% of the written estimate without the consumer's consent or good faith attempt to acquire the consent.