Our society has become full of quick, faceless transactions where few questions are asked and discussed in person. That may be ok when you’re having dinner delivered, but not for maintaining or repairing your vehicle.
Although a lot of research can be done online, not all buildings with service bays operate the same way.
So before assuming anything, it’s important for you to do your due diligence and communicate face-to-face (or at least over the phone) with prospective mechanics to discuss and obtain satisfactory answers to questions like these:
Question #1 – Can I get a written, detailed, free estimate for my maintenance/repair cost? It can be disheartening to get a bill when no actual repairs have been made to your vehicle. Asking about estimates and the details of your repair up front before deciding on who you’ll choose as your regular maintenance or repair shop can end up saving you both time and money in the long run.
Question #2 – What is your experience with working on my vehicle’s specific make and model? Car manufacturers pride themselves on unique amenities and features that may not be familiar to all mechanics and repair shops. Be sure your mechanic’s level of expertise is applicable to your specific vehicle. Also, for additional assurance, ask for reference information from satisfied customers.
Question #3 – What are the associations and certifications you maintain? Reputable auto repair shops and service centers know it is good business to be a part of associations like AAA (American Automobile Association), and to have mechanics certified through places like ASE (Automotive Service Excellence – a trade group that sets standards for auto repair with testing and certifications for technicians). Each of these organizations offer third-party research, follow-up, and reviews requiring stringent guidelines regarding education, industry standards and customer service expectations.
Question #4 – What is your warranty on parts and labor? The general standard on parts and labor is 12 months or 12,000 miles. If there’s only a 90-day warranty, it’s best to check somewhere else. Michael Calkins, manager of the AAA approved auto repair program says, “There is no reason to be talking about a 90-day warranty. You can get more than that on almost any product.”
Question #5 – What kind of replacement parts do you use? There are a lot of aftermarket products that are inferior to the factory original. Make sure products are at least factory quality, and ask if they use refurbished replacements. You can also request to see the failed part prior to replacement.
Having these questions answered to your satisfaction not only helps you be more confident about your choice for a mechanic, but also helps ensure you have a clear understanding of what to expect regarding the estimate and repair costs, warranties, and the level of expertise the mechanics have on your specific vehicle.
At Kwik Kar, we’ve done our due diligence and pride ourselves on our customer service and face-to-face interaction with satisfied clients like you. We are here for you and are glad to answer these questions and more, because we know that the more informed you are, the happier you are with the results!