Most people bring their vehicles into a professional auto repair shop because they believe this will be the fastest and most cost efficient way to get their vehicle back on the road. In a perfect world this is absolutely the case.
As an automotive consumer you should be vigilant and ask questions to make sure your auto repair shop is holding up their end of the bargain (even if you trust the shop).
This is more important when you are paying for things such as check engine light diagnosis or even when you are trying to get drivability problems repaired that require pinpoint troubleshooting.
If you go in for an intermittent stalling condition or rough running car problems the way that the shop handles the troubleshooting and diagnosis can affect the total cost of the repairs. Your repair shop should be using a standardized diagnostic method that brings them to the failure in an orderly and efficient manner.
If the mechanic starts guessing at what is wrong and begins to replace parts he hopes will fix the problem this will add dollars to the repair bill. This is the exact opposite of the reasons that you brought your car in four professional auto repairs.
Professional mechanics don’t guess
When car problems baffle an experienced mechanic they know where to go and what to do. This can vary with the symptoms of the automobile that they are trying to repair. But in general it would be consulting vehicle specific publications.
Professional and Diy mechanics have access to a mind blowing amount of information. Symptom charts and technical service bulletins can put the mechanic back on the path of efficient auto repairs.
A good mechanic also knows that it is Okay to discuss the vehicle’s problems with other technicians, shop foreman and other experienced coworkers. For smaller shops technical assistance is also offered by phone and Internet.
If a mechanic feels like asking for assistance will hurt his pride or damage his reputation he could wind up going down the path of replacing parts that are not needed (guessing). If they are electrical components then they will not be returnable.
In the end the customer winds up paying for parts that were not actually needed. Sadly in this situation the shop and the mechanic may cover up the fact that these parts were replaced in error.
Ask questions about the auto repairs
When you go to pick up your vehicle examine the parts and labor break down closely. If the information provided to you is not clear ask that it be explained. Take a look at the list of parts that were replaced. In general one car complaint should equal one part replaced.
This is not always the case! But ask questions if it is not the case. Let me give you an example. If a dealership mechanic replaces more than one warranty covered part per complaint the repair is reviewed by the factory. The reason being is that the factory knows that in most cases one complaint equals one part replaced.
If you brought your vehicle in for a rough running condition and there is a list of four or five electrical components such as throttle position sensor, oxygen sensor, idle air control motor, EGR valve, egr solenoid then you need to find out why so many parts were used to fix one complaint.
Remember that you are paying for professional auto repairs. You should not be responsible for unnecessary repairs, parts that were not required to fix your complaint and the training of shop mechanics.
If you are interested in more information about this subject visit my auto-facts.org website and this page that talks about the auto repair business. For more of the latest posts to this blog this next link will take you to more auto repair information.