Bringing your car in for service, whether planned or unplanned, is never fun. It’s also costly. That’s why you should educate yourself on the basic services your vehicle is going through and appear informed to your mechanic. This will give you an air of confidence so you’re less likely to be taken advantage of, plus it will help you interpret what your mechanic is telling you. Be sure to ask these five questions whenever you bring your motor vehicle in for service:
1. How much for diagnostics?
This number is likely to vary quite widely from mechanic to mechanic, which is why you should ask. It’s a tough situation, because you’ve obviously gone so far as to take your car in for a check-up as to why your dashboard is lighting up. When faced with the estimate, you may think: do I stay or do I go? In many ways, it’s like asking your doctor to tell you how much a visit will be, even as you’re sitting on that cold examination table.
You want your car repaired but you don’t want to pay an arm and leg just for troubleshooting. You can always shop around for better prices if you don’t like what you hear. The U.S. average for check engine light-related repair costs is $390.38, according to CarMD. That’s a decent chunk of change, so you should know your stuff when the mechanic comes back with the results of the diagnostics.
2. Are your mechanics ASE certified?
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, a non-profit organization that has trained 325,000 automotive professionals across the country, has awarded certain shops with the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence. This means those mechanics are highly trained in automotive repairs, but they have to keep taking the test to re-certify every five years. Ask your mechanic if they are ASE certified. It can’t hurt. In fact, it can only help.
Just an FYI, Hance’s Paint and Body Service is an I-CARTM and ASETM certified garage, backed by experienced technicians who boast top-notch training and education in collision repair.
3. Can you give me a written estimate?
Don’t rely on a word of mouth estimate, especially one that’s given over the phone without the mechanic even inspecting your vehicle. Many mechanics will give you a free estimate, which is great, but always get the repair quote in writing. The estimate should include:
Sometimes, additional problems are uncovered while the mechanic is servicing your vehicle. Ask them to give you a call with any additional services and their associated costs before doing the work. Be aware that some dealers of mechanics will charge you miscellaneous fees, or give you an incomplete estimate, such as for tire replacement without the line item for tire disposal fees. Be diligent about uncovering hidden fees that can really break the bank.
4. Is the part still covered by the warranty?
When a part is still covered by the warranty, you can breathe easy knowing you won’t have to pay out of pocket for it. However, if your car is not new, it’s likely that the parts are no longer covered under warranty. If your mechanic or dealership service department techs aren’t sure, take matters into your own hands and check with the auto manufacturer directly.
5. Does your mechanic specialize in my car’s make and model?
This is always an important question. If anybody is going to work on your car, it better be someone with experience in your make and model. Your mechanic should know all the issues common with your type of car and how to address them.
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center in Dallas
Serving the surrounding Dallas community with 60 years of experience in auto repair and collision repair, you can count on Hance’s to get the job done quickly and efficiently. We welcome any questions you may have about our service. Contact us at 214-666-5291 to book your appointment.