Tips for selecting and dealing with a repair facility

branhamdiesel By branhamdiesel, 18th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/11.ppe09/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Cars

Many people aren't sure what to do once they get to a shop.

Tips for selecting and dealing with a repair facility

Research the Repair Shop. If you take your vehicle to a shop for repair without researching them first, then you deserve what you get. Better Business Bureau is always a good start, and Google can give you many leads to research. Many times when I was researching competing shops in my area, I simply googled them. Visit the shop and take a look. Is it clean; are they polite and helpful? Ask to speak to the service manager, tell him or her about your problem. Service managers are very knowledgeable, however they don’t know everything. A good shop has technicians of varying expertise in different areas, and the service manager will know his technicians’ specialties. If the service manager refers to one of his mechanics by name, and tells you that said mechanic is well versed in your particular problem, it’s a good sign.

Get the Shop’s Warranty Policy in Writing. Typically the shop warranty policy will be on the work order or invoice issued to you when you pay. Always ask to see this policy up front. You also want to know about the parts warranty. Many times shops simply offer 90days warranty on their labor, but parts will normally carry a 1year warranty. You need to make sure you get this information up front. What is the shop warranty on labor? What is the parts’ warranty? Can the shop honor the parts’ warranty?

Quote the Diagnostic Time. The system or vehicle does need to be tested, and you will have to pay for this cost. There are many factors that contribute to this cost; reputable dealers or shops should not take more than 2 hours to diagnosis most problems. Your shop should be experienced with your system or vehicle. You wouldn’t expect your motorcycle shop to fix your Ford diesel, so don’t expect your Ford guy to be an expert on your Chevy. Ask your service writer or service manager up front about the initial diagnostic cost, and instruct them not to proceed with any repair until you are contacted with a written estimate on the repair.

Quote the Repair. Before authorizing any repairs to your vehicle, have the shop quote you the “OUT THE DOOR PRICE” on the repair. By that, I mean what will it cost you to leave the shop with your vehicle. There is only one foolproof way to pay what they quote. Go down to the shop and have them issue you a written estimate of repairs. Many shops require you to review the estimate anyway; some will even email them to you. Make them stick to it. This estimate should include labor, shop supplies, all parts, any sublet and tax. Now, there are instances that the technician will find more damage during disassembly and this will cost you more money. The service manager or service writer will anticipate this in most cases and should inform you up front about these possibilities when an estimate is issued to you.

Pay Your Bill. If you can’t afford the diagnostic time cost, you are not going to be able to afford the repair. If you are not going to be able to afford full payment, you will probably not get your car back until full payment is made. If you know you can’t afford it, talk to the owner or service manager up front. You never know, you may have something they would be willing to take in trade. They may also be willing to take installments for the repair. You are expecting them to be honest with you, so be honest with them.


Stick With Them. Once you find a good shop, stick with them. Repeat customers get much better deals than ONETIME customers do. On your first visit, if you are satisfied with the quality, ask the name of your technician. Get all your maintenance and repairs done at the same place. Every time you go in for repair or maintenance, request the same technician. Get to know your technician and get to know the service manager. If you always pay your bills and you are friendly, you are a good customer. Good repeat customers always get the best deals. If you are a good customer and you find yourself in a money crunch; you are the first group the shop is willing to help.

Tip Your Technician. Sound strange, it shouldn’t. You tip the waitress or waiter for keeping your glass full of wine or water. Why is it so hard to tip the guy or girl who is keeping your vehicle, your rely on every day, if tip top shape. You don’t have to tip them a $100, and you don’t have to tip them every time. When you have some extra cash give your technician $10 or $20 when you pick up your vehicle. I guarantee if you do this, you will find yourself getting more attention.

Promote Your Shop. Show your support for your mechanic and his shop. Recommend the shop and or technician to your friends. Nothing helps grow a shops business like “positive word of mouth marketing.” When you recommend your shop to a friend, have them use your name when they go to visit the shop. This will insure that the shop knows that you are sending business their way. Shops are always appreciative of referred business.

Tags

Customer, Estimate, Finding A Shop, Labor, Non-Warranty, Quote, Repair, Repair Shop, Shop, Technician, Tips, Vehicle, Warranty

Meet the author

author avatar branhamdiesel
I am diesel repair shop owner. I have spent nearly every moment since I was a teenager in a shop. I have worked for multiple dealerships includiing Cat, Freightliner and International. I have held positions at those dealerships of technician, fore...(more)

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Comments

author avatar mountainside
25th Feb 2011 (#)

...Excellent article. Thank you.

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author avatar mountainside
25th Feb 2011 (#)

...Excellent article. Thank you.

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author avatar Humza
25th Feb 2011 (#)

Acc to ur brief intro u really seem a dedicated technician and i am really impressed by the fact so i am proudly following u, and yes we do need a person like u here to solve our probs!
welcome

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author avatar branhamdiesel
25th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you both. I recently opened another new shop and have been quite busy. As soon as things calm down I will get more articles out.

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author avatar Denise O
25th Feb 2011 (#)

Sounds like some good tips to me. Nice writing.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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