Car repairs are often an expensive and time-consuming hassle. When you don’t have your auto insurance policy helping pay for the repairs, those overwhelming feelings can magnify. We totally understand that there are other things you’d rather do with your time and hard-earned money. Car repairs aren’t glamorous or exciting the way a new TV or a vacation might be—but they can often cost about the same, which is no fun. At Your Import Car Doctor, we understand that there are other things you’d rather do with your time and money, which is why we strive to keep you as well-informed about the entire process as possible. Before we begin work on your vehicle, we will explain what’s wrong and what needs to be done. We will also take the time to explain any repair needs we find that can wait without damaging your vehicle and answer any questions you have before we get started. Here are a few questions to ask us or whichever mechanic you visit:
Have you worked on my type of car before?
At Your Import Car Doctor, we specialize in imported vehicles from manufacturers like Nissan and Audi. However, that doesn’t mean we only work on imports. No matter where you take your car, you should be able to trust that it’s in good hands, and a great deal of that is experience. Before you consent to repair work, it’s a good idea to ask your chosen mechanic’s experience to gauge whether they are the right person for the job.
Where can I find your customer reviews?
One of the best ways to get a snapshot view of the level of work a mechanic shop provides is to dig into the reviews other customers have left. Many shops will collect reviews for satisfied customers on site, but it’s important to look at sites like Google and Yelp just to double check a shop’s veracity. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for ratings as well as any complaints against that repair shop.
Do you charge for an inspection and estimate?
Some shops do, and others don’t. Either way, it’s better to be prepared. At Your Import Car Doctor, we offer a free 40-point vehicle inspection and discuss any issues we find before we begin work, so you know exactly what you’re getting in to. If, on the other hand, you do find a shop that charges for an estimate, ask how they determine the cost to get an idea of what you can expect to pay for that portion of the work.
Can I get that estimate in writing?
An estimate should include the work that needs doing, any parts required, and an estimate of the time it will take, with a ballpark cost for parts and labor. Getting an estimate in writing, signed by the mechanic, will give you some legal recourse in case you need to take legal action. Thankfully, instances where this happens are rare, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. In addition, if your insurance will be paying for repairs, they will likely need a written estimate from the mechanic to start the payment process.
What needs to be done and why?
A quality mechanic will be willing to not only explain the work that needs to be done, but also tell you why it’s necessary. In doing so, you will not only learn a bit more about how your vehicle functions, but you can get a better idea of whether the repairs are necessary or if you’re being upsold for the sake of the bottom line.
How do you communicate any changes that come up?
When you receive an estimate from a mechanic, it’s just that. We do our best to figure out exactly what’s wrong and what needs to be fixed, but sometimes, things will come up as we’re partway through the work. It’s important to ask how you’ll be informed of any changes so you aren’t surprised by additional work and a higher cost when you go to pick up your car.
Do you offer a warranty for the parts and labor?
Warranties can get complicated, so it’s important to ask about coverage for any new parts as well as the work the mechanic is doing. Warranties will vary from shop to shop, as well as from the different parts manufacturers, so it’s good to know just how much protection you’ll have for the work being done.
What certifications do you have, and are you members of any automotive associations?
This two-fold question is getting at the same thing, more or less. Some mechanics will hold an ASE certification or be members of the Automotive Service Association. Asking about certifications and memberships will give you a good idea the level of training and experience that shop will provide as well as work as a pretty clear sign of quality.
Where are my old parts?
It might seem like a weird question, but asking after the replaced parts can be a great way to learn something about your vehicle. Ask to see the old parts and prompt and explanation of how it works. In addition, asking to see your old parts is a good way to ensure the new parts were actually installed in your vehicle. If a mechanic refuses to show you the old parts, that could be a sign of trouble.
Will I get a detailed invoice for the parts and the work done?
Especially if insurance or warranty work is in question, a detailed invoice will help you show that the necessary work was done and your car should be up to scratch again. A detailed invoice will say exactly what was done, any parts that were replaced, and when the work was done. This is also a good way to show that your car is in good repair if you go to sell your vehicle.
If you’re looking for a mechanic you can trust in Colorado Springs, come see Your Import Car Doctor. Our team is happy to answer your questions and explain everything so you can trust in the work we do. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!