Choosing an Auto Repair Service
Automotive repair and service are essential for the proper operation of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and other vehicles. Taking care of your vehicle can help it run better, last longer and save you money in the long run.
Choosing an Auto Repair Shop
The best place to have your car repaired is an auto repair shop with certified technicians who can handle any job. They’re usually less expensive than a dealership and can be trusted to do good work.
You’ll want to ask for a written estimate before you bring your car in for any repairs. This should explain the problem, the parts needed and a price for labor. It should also state that the shop will contact you before doing any additional work or exceeding a specified amount.
When comparing quotes, be sure to look for shops that use original manufacturer parts and are certified by the manufacturer or an independent organization. They’re more likely to be able to diagnose problems correctly and may be able to provide warranty-covered repairs.
Mechanics who specialize in certain vehicles or parts are likely to be more knowledgeable about the vehicle’s specific needs. They may have access to factory manuals, diagnostic tools and special equipment that a general mechanic won’t.
A reputable auto repair shop will also be happy to share information about their parts suppliers, and offer discounts for AAA members. They should also offer a warranty on the parts they use.
The cost of auto repairs can be a significant part of your vehicle’s total ownership costs. This is why it’s important to know what the cost of a typical repair is so you can compare prices and find a fair deal.
You should also consider how much the repair will affect your gas mileage and whether the work is covered by your warranty. Typically, your warranty will cover the labor to do a repair, but not the parts used in the process.
Your vehicle’s warranty may also cover a limited number of items, such as a belt or brake fluid change. This will depend on your manufacturer’s warranty policy, but most warranties cover these items for a specified period of time and miles.
Keep in mind that if you do not take good care of your vehicle, it could break down unexpectedly and cause a costly repair bill. This can be especially true if you’ve neglected to perform routine maintenance, such as changing your oil or checking your fluids.
Getting Repairs Done Safely
If you’re unsure about the repair shop you’re considering, check their license with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). All auto shops must hold an automotive repair dealer license to perform vehicle repair and maintenance services in California.
Get the Most Out of Your Warranty
When you buy a new vehicle, you should expect that it will come with a warranty that covers any defects that may occur. In addition, some manufacturers offer a warranty that covers parts and labor for a certain number of years or miles. You can often purchase an extended warranty to extend the length of your vehicle’s warranty coverage, but you should check the terms of your vehicle’s warranty to see how it applies to your situation.