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Educational Consumer Tips

Auto Repair & Service

Author: Better Business Bureau
Category: Auto

When it’s time to take your vehicle in for regular servicing or repairs, it’s best to go prepared. BBB® recommends:

Check your warranty. If you encounter 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.

Ask around. If you are looking for a qualified, independent shop, ask friends for recommendations, or request a list of BBB Accredited Businesses that do the type of auto repair you need. Be sure to check with BBB about the shop's reliability at Look for shops that display certification. For major work, such as brakes, transmission or engine repair, find a shop that employs a specialist.

Ask questions. Don't be embarrassed to request full explanations of needed repairs. Don't rush the technician into making an on-the-spot diagnosis of the problem. Ask to be informed of the problem, course of action and cost before any work begins.

Get a written estimate for parts and labor. In accordance with the Automotive Repair Act of 1971, all customers are entitled to:
1. A written estimate for repair work.
2. A detailed invoice of work done, and parts supplied.
3. Return of replaced parts, if requested at the time a work order is placed.
Before signing the work order, make sure that it specifies an estimated cost and indicates that you must be informed of and authorize any additional work.