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5 Questions to Ask Your Mechanic

Whether your car is in a bad spot and needs to have work done or just needs a regular check-up, it's important to know who's going to be looking at and working on your car before they pop the hood. If you purchased your car from a trusted dealership, chances are, they probably offer customers incentives and specials on routine things like oil changes and tune-ups. It's always a great idea to have your car checked and worked on at a dealership if you're able to be choosy about where to have your car serviced.

There are a lot of independent auto shop owners who also do great work, so the choice is ultimately up to you as to where you choose to take it. You'll want to make sure you know that the person looking at or working on your car is reputable and fair. Ask friends, co-workers and neighbors for their personal recommendations, and read reviews online for a better idea as to how they operate and treat their customers.

Once you've selected where you'll have your car checked or worked on, you shouldn't be afraid to get to know the mechanics and ask questions. It can be intimidating if you're not well-versed in auto speak, so here are a few questions you might want to be prepared to ask.

Can I Get a Written Estimate?

It's so easy for everything to go in one ear and out the other when you're not exactly sure what the mechanic is telling you. Even if you only have a basic knowledge of cars, having all of the pinpointed problems and needed services, along with cost breakdown will help you immensely as work toward making a decision as to what to say yes to.

Will You Begin Work without My Consent?

This is a big one! Unless you have money and are prepared to foot the bill for every single little thing that could possibly be wrong with your car, be sure to ask that nothing is done/no work is begun before you review the diagnosis and cost. Once you give the 'okay,' work can begin.

Can I See the Problem?

It's nice to have a general knowledge of car parts and how things should properly operate. I don't like to blindly agree to things I can't see for myself, so I have gotten into the habit of asking to see the problem. I like to know and to be able to see it, just for the sake of knowing. It also helps me to better understand the problem, and how the problem will be solved. It also gives me an idea as to what I might need to look or listen for after the work is done, in case the problem pops up again.

How Long will the Repair Take?

Are you good to sit and wait for a while, or will you need to leave the car for a long stint and come back when the work is completed? It's a good idea to receive an estimate of the amount of time the work will take. Most dealerships have very nice waiting areas with complimentary snacks and drinks for their loyal customers. If the repair won't take more than an hour or two, you might want to settle in with a good book and enjoy the quiet time. If the repair will take longer, you might ask about a loaner car from the dealership to use for the day or two it might take for the repairs to be completed.

Are There Any Other Problems I Need to be Aware of?

After your car is repaired and you're ready to settle the bill and take it home, your mechanic will probably give you a running list of any other possible problem areas in your vehicle. Some may be minor, but others may be major if ignored. Your mechanic undoubtedly wants what is best for you and the health of your car, so definitely consider heeding their advice if your car needs additional work and attention.

Brought to you by King GM

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