Getting your car fixed can be complete torture for someone who has no idea on what goes on under the hood. And because of this, you don’t know what to ask when speaking with a mechanic. To maximise your visit at the repair shop, here are a few suggested questions on what to ask your mechanic.
Question #1: Are you accredited?
A good mechanic should be a member of a major trade association. While the Motor Trades Association of Australia is largest organisation in the country, there are also a number of state-based groups. For instance, the professional body in Queensland is the Motor Trades Association of Queensland, while in Victoria it’s the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce.
Don’t hesitate to ask the mechanic to see his or her accreditation. Any good and upstanding repair shop would be eager to show off its qualifications. In fact, there’s a possibility this information is plastered in the shop’s ad or all over its walls.
Question #2: Do you work on my vehicle’s make?
While all cars run on four wheels, they’re made differently under the hood. This is why it’s important to ask if the mechanic works on your vehicle’s make. For instance, there are mechanics that specialise in German cars like BMW, Volkswagen or Audi, but not in Japanese cars like Toyota or Mitsubishi. If the shop you approached doesn’t work on your car’s make, there’s no need to show them your car.
Question #3: Do I get a written estimate?
A detailed written estimate is necessary to show you how much it would cost to repair your vehicle. That way, you can compare quotes and choose the best offer, which isn’t necessarily the one with the lowest price tag, but the one with the best value for your money. More importantly, you’d be able to avoid any surprises if you have a quote on black and white.
Question #4: Can I get a written explanation on what was done?
An invoice should give you an overview on what kind of work was done on your car, but unless you know your way in and around vehicles, you probably won’t understand a thing. Since you’re paying for the service, it’s reasonable to be given a simple written explanation on the repairs. Don’t be afraid to ask for a written explanation. Reading these details is a great opportunity for you to learn more about your vehicle.
Question #5: What’s the warranty for the parts and labour?
A reputable and accredited repair shop should be able to give you warranty for parts and labour. But if the mechanic is only offering you a 90-day warranty, it’s time to look for another one. A standard warranty normally lasts for a year or 12,000 miles. If you can’t seem to get the same warranty, get something close to it.
Question #6: What’s wrong with my car?
This is the most basic question you should ask when getting your car fixed. Naturally, you need to find out what’s really wrong with it so that you can get an idea how much the repairs would cost, especially if you’ve experienced a similar problem before.
Question #7: Anything you can think of !
There’s nothing wrong with asking your mechanic all sorts of questions about your car. Forget your ego for the moment; this is about getting your car fixed. Since you’re paying good money, you better make the most of your time understanding the problem so that you can avoid the problem surprising you in the future. Maybe you’ll pick up a thing or two about car care as well. Besides, a better understand of the situation would give you better control over the proceedings and how much you’ll spend overall.
But whether you’re going to your car’s dealer while still in warranty or to a repair shop for some serious fixing, remember to always follow the instructions in the owner’s manual, particularly when it comes to maintenance. By following the regular upkeep, you can keep your car running in tiptop shape and with no significant problems.
About the Author:
This article was written by Tom. Tom is a certified mechanic and has worked in the industry for many years. He has also worked to write many articles helping readers better understand mechanics and the services they provide.