- Can you fix almost anything I need?
Find one auto repair center that can do all the repairs you need and you will have one place responsible for the quality and warranty. Convenience is important and many shops advertise complete service but you have to go elsewhere to get an engine analysis, noise repairs or leak repairs. Compare the convenience items like One Stop Shopping, evening and Saturday hours, rental cars, and shuttle service.
- Would you explain exactly what you are going to do and why?
Example: You are told you need a water pump to cure an antifreeze leak. They recommend a thermostat because they fail with age. They suggest a power flush to clean the system. Make sure you understand what is being done before you authorize it. Ask for an explanation sheet if you are not sure what you are paying for and why you need it. Ask if it is a repair you need for safety or a maintenance item.
- What test results can you show me?
You should be able to get a printout, a diagnostic sheet, or statistics of the test results from the facility doing the repairs. If they have no test or inspection results to show you, it means they either have lazy or inexperienced people or possibly making an uneducated guess.
- What is the warranty, what does it cover?
Warranties vary from a 30 day parts only warranty to a limited lifetime warranty. A good warranty is 12 months or 12,000 miles for all parts, labor and towing. Ask for a copy of any lifetime warranty. Since almost nothing lasts a lifetime they usually have several detailed exclusions that can cost you money. Many auto shops cover the parts only and not the labor. A warranty that is not documented on your invoice is usually a poor warranty or a non exist ant warranty.
- Does the mechanic working on my car have an A.S.E certification for that service?
You want the best qualified person testing, inspecting and servicing your car.Ask if you can have an A.S.E. Master technician service your vehicle who has all the certifications and experience.