Basic information about car repairs

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A good place to start is knowing how your vehicle works and knowing how to identify the most common car problems.

It’s also important to know how to select a good technician or mechanic, the types of questions to ask, and knowing your consumer rights. Knowing this type of information about your car can help you avoid technical errors.

How to choose a repair shop

What should I consider when choosing a repair shop?

Ask friends, family and other trusted people for recommendations. To avoid a hasty decision, look for a Paris auto repair shop before the need. Inquire over the phone and compare options to get the most convenient treatment, and also compare repair warranty policies.

If state or local laws establish a registration or licensing requirement for repair shops, ask for them and see if they are up to date. You can also contact the state attorney general’s office or local consumer protection agency to find out if they file complaints about a particular repair shop. Make sure the repair shop meets your vehicle’s warranty requirements.

Is there a better technician than another?

Look for shops that feature various certifications – for example, an Automotive Service Excellence Seal. Certification indicates that some or all repair shop technicians meet basic standards of knowledge and skill in specific technical areas. Make sure certifications are current, but remember that certification alone is no guarantee of honest work well done.

Ask if the technician or shop has experience repairing vehicles of the same make or model as your car.

Repair costs: how to solve the mystery

Before authorizing a repair job, ask the workshop how they calculate prices. Some shops charge a flat fee for auto repair work. This published rate is based on an estimate – independent or from the manufacturer – of the time needed to complete the repairs. Other shops charge a fee based on the actual time the technician takes to complete the repair.

If your vehicle is in need of complicated or expensive repairs or if you are unsure about the work recommended for you, consider getting a second opinion.

Find out if you will be charged diagnostic fees if you decide to have the repair work done at another shop. Many repair shops or Auto Express breakdown services charge a fee for the time it takes to diagnose.

Shops that only do diagnostics and do not sell parts or perform repairs, can give you an objective opinion on what repairs are needed. If you decide to do the repair work, ask them to give you a written estimate.

What elements should a written budget include?

The budget should identify the problem or damage to be repaired, the parts needed, and the expected workload. Ask for a signed copy of the budget.

You should also mention that the shop will contact you to ask for your approval before starting any work over the specified amount of money or time period. State laws may establish this requirement.

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