Going to a new mechanic can be daunting. Whether you just want a checkup or have something specific you want the mechanic to look at, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. To get the most out of your appointment, you should go in informed. Ask relevant questions so that you know the shop is right for you.
What Certifications Have You Earned?
Anyone can call themselves a mechanic. To be certain you are working with a professional, ask to see certifications. Reputable individuals will have no problem showing they are certified with the National Institute for Automobile Service Excellence. In fact, most high-quality auto shops will actively advertise the fact that they have ASE-certified technicians. Other certifications you can look out for is a rating from the Better Business Bureau or being a member of AAA.
Have You Worked on My Type of Vehicle Before?
All cars are different, and some shops even specialize in specific makes and models of vehicles. Make sure the mechanic you are speaking with knows how to work around your specific car. If you own a fairly popular vehicle, then you do not have to concern yourself too much with this. In the event you own a rarer car, then you would definitely want to ask.
Can You Provide References?
You should be able to find reviews for most auto shops online, but it never hurts to do a little extra investigating on your own. Customer satisfaction says a lot. A shop confident in its reputation will have no problem putting you in touch with past customers. Additionally, when you go visit for a consultation, pay attention to how the other customers are acting and if the employees are treating them with respect.
Can You Explain the Repairs Needed Plainly?
Sometimes car mechanics will first talk about what needs to be done in complex automotive terms. That is natural, and if you have any questions after talking about a job, then feel free to ask the mechanic to explain more simply. An expert will want you to be confident in the work being done and explain further. If mechanics continue talking in circles, then they may be trying to intentionally confuse you.
Will You Call If Anything Unexpected Comes Up?
A frequent occurrence is that drivers take their cars to shops expecting something minor needs to be done only for the mechanic to discover a more serious underlying problem. Before leaving your vehicle in the shop’s hands, you want to make sure you will be kept informed every step of the way. You do not want to get back to the shop to discover extra expenses you did not agree to.
What Is Your Warranty?
Before getting any work done, you want to be certain you receive a copy of the shop’s warranty policy in writing. No matter how good a shop might be, anything can happen. You want to be sure you can get your vehicle repaired again should anything go wrong in the near future.
Will You Provide a Detailed Invoice?
For your records, you will want to have a detailed invoice that goes over all the parts that were repaired or replaced. This invoice will also come in handy if you plan on selling your car in the future because you can show a prospective buyer exactly what work was done in the past.
Finally, you should make sure to ask about ways to take care of your car. A mechanic may see that you have been misusing your vehicle, and it is helpful to know what you can change to prevent more repairs in the future.