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Educational Consumer Tips

Car Repair Tips

Author: Better Business Bureau

BBB offers the following tips the next time you're in need of car repairs:  

  • Check your warranty - If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under warranty, follow the manufacturer's instructions, which may require that repairs be made at an authorized dealership.
  • Research possible cost - Take your time. Research the problem with your vehicle to become more informed and get a ballpark idea of what it may cost to fix it. The more you know about your vehicle, the better.
  • Search the web for repair shops around your neighborhood - Use online search engines to see what you can find on repair shops you're considering using. This can reveal different reviews on the business and will help you decide the right one for you. Don't forget to also visit to find a company's business review and any complaints they have received.
  • Ask for a follow-up after the problem is found - The company should always get your permission prior to doing any repair work on your vehicle after they have found the problem. Ask the service manager to write a request on the bottom of the repair order to ensure you will receive a proper notification. Give the business phone numbers where you can be reached and be sure to understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment. Before any work is done on your vehicle, be sure to get a written estimate for parts and labor.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions - Never feel intimidated to ask a mechanic to explain what is wrong with your vehicle. Request a full explanation of the type of repairs that will take place. 
  •  Ask for everything in writing - A reputable auto repair shop should stand by its work and have no issue with providing important information in writing. This includes their warranty, explanation of work completed, and guarantees. Ensure your repair bill is itemized.