How to Choose a Repair Shop:
What should I look for when choosing a repair shop? Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and other people you trust. Look for an auto repair shop before you need one to avoid being rushed into a last-
How to Choose a Technician:
Is one technician better than another? Look for shops that display various certifications -
Repair Charges: Unlocking the Mystery:
Before you arrange to have any work performed, ask how the shop prices its work. 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. Others charge on the basis of the actual time the technician worked on the repair. If you need expensive or complicated repairs, or if you have questions about recommended work, consider getting a second opinion. Find out 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. If you decide to get the work done, ask for a written estimate. What should a written estimate include? It should identify the condition to be repaired, the parts needed, and the anticipated labor charge. Make sure you get a signed copy. It should state that the shop will contact you for approval before they do any work exceeding a specified amount of time or money. State law may require this. What should I know about the parts to be repaired or replaced? Parts are classified as: New -
What are the consequences of postponing maintenance? Many parts on your vehicle are interrelated. Ignoring maintenance can lead to trouble: specific parts -
What warranties and service contracts apply to vehicle repairs? There is no "standard warranty" on repairs. Make sure you understand what is covered under your warranty and get it in writing. Be aware that warranties may be subject to limitations, including time, mileage, deductibles, businesses authorized to perform warranty work or special procedures required to obtain reimbursement. Check with the Federal Trade Commission or your state or local consumer protection agency for information about your warranty rights.
Many vehicle dealers and others sell optional contracts -
HEADING OFF PROBLEMS:
The more you know about your vehicle, the more likely you'll be able to head off repair problems. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your senses: eyeballing the area around your vehicle, listening for strange noises, sensing a difference in the way your vehicle handles, or even noticing unusual odors.
Looks Like Trouble:
Small stains or an occasional drop of fluid under your vehicle may not mean much. But wet spots deserve attention; check puddles immediately. You can identify fluids by their color and consistency: Yellowish green, pastel blue or florescent orange colors indicate an overheated engine or an antifreeze leak caused by a bad hose, water pump or leaking radiator. A dark brown or black oily fluid means the engine is leaking oil. A bad seal or gasket could cause the leak. A red oily spot indicates a transmission or power-
Smells Like Trouble:
Some problems are under your nose. You can detect them by their odor: The smell of burned toast -
Sounds Like Trouble:
Squeaks, squeals, rattles, rumbles, and other sounds provide valuable clues about problems and maintenance needs. Here are some common noises and what they mean: Squeal -
Feels Like Trouble:
Difficult handling, a rough ride, vibration and poor performance are symptoms you can feel. They almost always indicate a problem. Steering: Misaligned front wheels and/or worn steering components, such as the idler or ball joint, can cause wandering or difficulty steering in a straight line. Pulling -
Car trouble doesn't always mean major repairs. Here are some common causes of trouble and techniques to help you and your technician find and fix problems: Alternator -
IF THIS IS HOW YOU FEEL
WHEN YOU SEE YOUR CAR REPAIR BILL !!!
THEN YOU NEED TO SEE YOUR FRIENDS AT