If you’re like most people, you’re hugely dependent on your car for transportation — so you need to know that the person caring for your automobile is a) qualified, and b) trustworthy. Ask these questions of your local mechanics, and you’ll get a pretty good sense of where they stand.
shops that offer both diagnostics and repair — serious conflict of interest
a shop that grossly underbids — may use untrained labor and cheap parts
mechanics that don’t take the time to show you what is wrong with your car
mechanics who don’t answer your questions or try to rush you
mechanics who have a problem with you asking for a second opinion
a shop that has to fix the same problem multiple times
a garage that is exceptionally filthy or disorderly
a garage where you can’t see the work area from the waiting area
dealerships — they almost always overcharge for minor repairs
talk to friends, family, and colleagues about their experiences
ask about the mechanic’s competence, reliability, and honesty
but don’t take a referral at face value — this is just the first step
heck the Better Business Bureau for complaints about that mechanic
also find out how long the mechanic has been in business
always choose an ASE-Certified mechanic
this certification is given by the National Institute For Automotive Service Excellence
it involves a voluntary testing procedure that weeds out low-level mechanics
look for other certificates and ask what classes the mechanic attends to stay up-to-date
good mechanics take classes a year to keep up with latest technology
what brand of replacement parts does your shop use?
how much will this repair cost? is that a guaranteed price?
if your prices are not guaranteed, how much can they deviate?
do you offer a lifetime or 60,000 mile guarantee on your work?
can I have a tour of the garage or even watch while my work is done?
do you offer a loaner car while mine is being worked on?
how long will it take to do this repair? do you guarantee that estimate?
ask for a second opinion if you think something is off or wrong
get a technical manual and learn the basic parts of your car
ask questions and ask to be shown exactly what isn’t working
ask to see the diagnostic read-out if it isn’t a visible malfunction
take your car to an independent diagnostic shop for a checkup
don’t let a tow-truck driver talk you into his “favorite” mechanic
get a written estimate first before you authorize any repairsClick here for reuse options!
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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
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