What Kind Of Questions Should I Ask Before I Have My Car Repaired
The dreaded day has come again to have your car repaired. You might be thinking of your last visit to the auto repair shop. Was it a pleasant one? I will leave that answer up to you. I have noticed working over 25 plus years in the repair shops watching the customers walk in and the first thing they seem to look for and focus on are the services offered and the prices that follow on the menu boards. They seem to be a bit confused because they just are not able to see what they want, listed any where. This is the time to start asking the service center questions pertaining to your particular needs or problems you are having with your car.
The first question I would recommend asking them is what their shop hourly rates are. Let me explain this in detail. Most shops set their own hourly rates for every job they perform on a customer's car. It can range any where from 20 to 100 dollars per hour. For instance let's say your vehicle needed a starter motor installed on your car. The service adviser would look on their computer or labor guide for your particular type of car, make, and model and find it would take 1.5 hours to perform. Their shop hourly rate for that shop is $65 per hour. Then your total labor charge for installing the starter would be $97.50.
On the other hand, if their shop hourly rate was $45 per hour then your labor charge would only be $67.50 saving you $30.00. So as you can see, shopping around a bit for the lower hourly rate charges will save you a lot of money! And also by asking that question the repair shop guys know you are a very careful shopper and are less likely to rip you off. Bringing in coupons from other repair shops is another good idea. Ask if they can meet or beat this price. With the coupon in hand they will most likely do it.
The next question to ask is what type of warranty do you have with your repairs. For example what is covered and for how long. I have seen many times over and over, people picking up their cars and simply just leaving. This is ok if you are in a hurry, but you should know what you have just purchased and if it happens again will they cover it under warranty. Car repair bills have seem to be increasing more and more over the years and doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Your warranty papers should be kept in a safe place with your other important documents such as your glove box where they can be easily accessible. So be sure and ask the question, 'what is your warranty on this repair."
One other important question to ask is will there be a certified technician working on my car. Some shops are breaking in a new guy and want to try him out and see how he performs on your car. I would rather ask for a certified technician to do the job. After all this is your money and vehicle you are entrusting this shop to. So don't be afraid to ask! Before you leave ask them to save your old parts for your own personal inspection. You don't really have to know what you're looking at but just by asking this question shows them you are a conservative and careful shopper. And once again, some shops will think twice about selling you a part that you don't need.
I hope these questions will make your next experience be a pleasant and memorable one. These guys will remember you in the future as being the careful shopper and treat you and your car with the utmost respect. I know if a customer asked me these type of questions up front I would definitely do the best job I could perform.