choosing a shop basic knowledge

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choosing a shop basic knowledge

Post by community lurker on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:38 pm

i did not right this up but has great tips in selecting a repair shop please pay attention to the written estimate portion

Choose an Auto Repair Shop

Today's vehicles may not quite be the space shuttle, but they are far removed from the days when that little clicking sound can be diagnosed and fixed by any shade-tree mechanic. That means one of the best ideas for vehicle maintenance and repair is to find a qualified shop to first prevent problems, and should one occur to be able to find it efficiently and then fix it.

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Here are some good ideas of what to do:
What should you look for when choosing a repair shop?

Look for an auto repair shop before you need one. Avoid being rushed into last-minute decisions.
State or local law may require the repair shop to be licensed or registered, and you should ask to see current licenses. Also, ask your state attorney general's office or local consumer protection agency about the repair shop's complaint record.
Be sure the repair shop is capable of performing the repairs needed.
Find a repair shop that honors your vehicle's warranty.
Shop around among comparable shops for the best deal.
Finding the right technician
Look for shops that display various certifications like an Automotive Service Excellence seal. Certifications indicate that some or all of the technicians have met basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas. Make sure the certifications were recently obtained. Remember, however, that certification alone is not an absolute guarantee of good or honest work.


Repair charges - unlocking the mystery
What should be included in an estimate?

Always get and keep a signed written cost estimate for the work to be performed. Make sure the estimate specifically identifies the condition to be repaired, the parts needed and the anticipated labor charge. Make sure the estimate states that the shop will contact you for approval before performing any work exceeding a specified amount of time and money your state may require this. Some shops charge a flat rate for labor on auto repairs. This published rate is based on an independent or manufacturer's estimate of the time required to complete repairs. Other shops charge on the basis of the actual time the technician worked on the repair. Before having any work performed, ask which cost method the shop uses. Even though you bring in your car with a specific problem, additional repairs may be recommended.

If you are uncertain whether the work needs to be done, you may want to consult your owner's manual or get a second opinion. On expensive or complicated repairs, or if you have questions about suggested repair work, get a second opinion or estimate. Ask if there will be a diagnostic charge if you decide to have the work performed elsewhere. Many repair shops charge for diagnostic time. Shops that do only diagnostic work and do not sell parts or repairs may be able to give you an objective opinion about which repairs are necessary.

After repairs are finished, get a completed repair order describing the work done. This should list each repair, all parts supplied, the cost of each part, labor charges and the vehicle's odometer reading when the vehicle entered the shop and when the repair order was prepared.

Preventive maintenance
Since many parts of your vehicle are inter-related, ignoring maintenance can lead to failure of other parts or an entire system. Neglecting even simple preventive maintenance, such as changing the oil or checking the coolant, can lead to poor fuel economy, non-reliability, or costly breakdowns, and could invalidate your warranty.

What maintenance guidelines should you follow?
The best way to keep a vehicle in good condition is to follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule in your owner's manual for your type of driving. If you do not have an owner's manual, contact the manufacturer to obtain one or to get a recommended maintenance schedule.

Some repair shops create their own maintenance schedules, which call for more frequent servicing than the manufacturer's recommendations. Compare shop maintenance schedules with those recommended in your owner's manual. Ask the repair shop to explain and make sure you understand why it recommends service beyond the recommended schedule.

Protecting Your Investment
What warranties and service contracts apply to vehicle repairs? There is no such thing as a "standard warranty" on repairs.

Make sure you understand what is covered under your warranty and get it in writing. Check with the Federal Trade Commission or your state or local consumer protection agency for information about your warranty rights.

Warranties may be subject to limitations, including time, mileage, deductibles, businesses authorized to perform warranty work or special procedures required to obtain reimbursement. Make sure you understand these limitations.

Compare warranty policies when selecting a repair shop
Many vehicle dealers and others sell optional contracts, called service contracts, issued by vehicle manufacturers or independent companies. Not all service contracts are the same; prices vary and are usually negotiable. To help decide whether to purchase a service contract, consider the following:

The cost of the service contract.
The repairs to be covered.
Coverage of the service contract and whether it overlaps that provided by any other warranty. o Where the repairs are to be performed. Procedures required to file a claim, such as getting prior authorization for specific repairs or meeting required vehicle maintenance schedules.
Whether repair costs are paid directly by the company to the repair shop or whether you will have to pay first and get reimbursed.
The reputation of the service contract company, which can be checked with your state Attorney General's office or the local consumer protection agency.

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Re: choosing a shop basic knowledge

Post by Bob05 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:52 pm

Hi all. New to the El Paso area. Im looking for a good rally shop or the closest thing that the area has to offer. Im currently in the market for a hydraulic drift brake and will either need assistance, or have the install done. a point in the right direction would be great. Thanks guys.

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