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Auto repair service can often be a frustrating experience. Where should you go for service? What should I look for in a mechanic? Knowing the answers to these questions is a sure way to improve your service experience. Keep reading to discover the steps you can take to experience great auto repair service.
Your owner’s manual is usually the most important (and most overlooked!) tool in helping you service your car. Not only does it explain how everything works, but it can also be a useful guide to helping you self-diagnose any problems that may arise.
Choosing between having your vehicle serviced at the dealership or a locally owned garage might be difficult, but there are benefits to each one. Dealerships employ trained technicians specifically for your vehicle. Garages are usually more accessible and conveniently located.
Keeping good records is essential to having great service. Save each receipt and service log, so you know the history of the vehicle. Having this history is not only a good reference for the mechanic that works on your vehicle, but it is also an effective tool to present when selling your car.
Find a trained technician who understands your specific vehicle. Some independent garages can work exclusively with your brand of car. They possess the special tools and training that are needed to repair your vehicle.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (A.S.E.) is a professional certification group that certifies mechanics. Certified mechanics must pass a written test and have two years of work experience, which makes A.S.E.-certified mechanics the best in the industry. Your auto repair professional should be A.S.E.-certified.
Check your service provider’s labor rates. Rates may vary greatly, so knowing these rates and the estimated repair time should give you a good idea of what the cost of repairs should be.
If parts need to be replaced, make sure you request OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components. These parts are specifically designed for your vehicle and will provide the best performance.
Each vehicle has specific service intervals scheduled. Follow the recommended schedule located in the owner’s manual.
Your service professional should consider your thoughts and opinions and establish an open dialogue. Make sure they are willing to listen to you; a dismissive mechanic is not a good sign.
Finally, ask questions! We learn by asking questions, and being educated about your vehicle will lead to the best service.