Taking your car in to get a repair can be intimidating. You may not know much about how your car works or what it will need to be repaired. Because of this lack of knowledge, the possibility of a car repair shop taking advantage of you is a real concern. However, you can avoid or decrease the occurrence of many potential problems by learning about the repair process and being prepared before you take your vehicle to the shop.
Prepare For a Repair
Before you commit to taking your car to a repair shop, look around at your options if you can. When you are in dire need of a quick repair, you may not have the luxury of fully exploring your options, but if you have the time, you should. You can usually get price estimates from several shops if you explain what you need or how your vehicle is acting.
You can also ask friends and family for their recommendation regarding reliable repair shops. The Better Business Bureau is also a good resource to research particular mechanics.
Getting the Right Repair
Once you decide on a repair shop, allow the mechanic some time to consider your problem and take steps to address it. Tell the mechanic about your concerns as clearly as possible, but do not try to guess at what is wrong if you are unsure. Telling the mechanic that you know it is the transmission, for example, may lead him or her to forego looking at other areas.
You should also be sure to:
- Ask for a written estimate of the cost of the repair and an estimate of how long it will take.
- Be sure to let the repair shop know that you want to be informed if the repair is going to be more than they thought for any reason. Emphasize that they need your permission to provide work that will be higher than the estimate.
- Give the mechanic your phone number or other contact information in case he or she runs into problems or has questions.
- Be sure to plan for enough time for the mechanic to make the repair. Rushing the repair process may be detrimental in the long run.
- Remove the valuables from your car during the repair. Leave only the ignition key with the mechanic.
- Ask the mechanic to give you back the replaced parts. If there is a problem with the repair, having these pieces may help you in court. This may not always be possible, but it does not hurt to ask.
Steps to Take After the Repair
If you have concerns about how your car is running after the repair is complete, be sure to speak with the mechanic right away to address these problems. By the same token, if you have issues with the cost of the repair or how the work was done, speak with the repair shop immediately to seek if you can address your concerns.
Even if you have a problem with the work performed, it is a good idea to pay for the service in full and then address the issues. The repair shop can place a lien on your vehicle for failing to pay for services; they may even be able to seize your car. You can avoid those issues by paying for the service up front.
If you have problems with the repair shop, you may be able to contact the following resources for help:
- The Better Business Bureau
- The BC Automobile Association
- The Automotive Retailers Association
- Consumer Protection BC
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond. Find out what we can do to get you the compensation you need and deserve by contacting our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting our website to speak with someone now about your claim.