Tips for stress-free auto repair

April 10, 2014 12:00 AM

For all motorists, auto repair is a natural and inevitable part of owning a vehicle. There are times when, even with automobiles of the highest quality, something goes wrong. Addressing these issues as soon as possible is critical to extending the life of the car, but many drivers may avoid taking their vehicle to a mechanic because they're dreading the hassles involved in resolving the problem. 

Fortunately, keeping your car in tip top shape doesn't have to require unreasonable anxiety. It may seem like a chore to have your automobile checked out, but by using these simple tips, you can take most of the potential stress out of the situation. More importantly, you can ensure that your repairs are done correctly, thus protecting your investment as well as the functionality of your vehicle.

Keep up with maintenance
It's critical to stay on top of regular vehicle maintenance. Neglecting these visits can lead to bigger problems down the road, thus negatively impacting the life of your automobile. If you can keep up with tune-ups and other more specific measures, you'll also be able to avoid more costly repairs.

Do your research
If you've determined that your car needs a repair, take the time to shop around so that you select the optimal shop. EdmundiPapers encouraged motorists to ask plenty of questions when talking to different technicians. This will give drivers a better idea of their qualifications, and peace of mind that they will handle the issue properly. If you have any concerns about the mechanic's honesty, credentials or capabilities during this initial conversation, the source suggested asking them to show the old parts. By pointing out what was problematic, the professional can hopefully quell any doubts that you may have about the work they did. In fact, a new report from ARAG recommended that you ask to hold onto the damaged parts when you have a major procedure done to your vehicle. 

Assess the results
Immediately after a repair is done, ask to take your car for a test drive before paying. Otherwise, there's a chance that you'll end up back at the shop for the same problem. If you notice within a short span of time that the issue returns, ARAG advised calling the shop you went to and either requesting that they redo the repair or try to negotiate a refund. If they are willing to make another attempt at fixing the problem, it can be helpful to have them put in writing what work they plan to do and when it will be finished.

Pursue action
What if you're still not happy with the results of the repair? In that case, ARAG recommended writing a formal demand letter, and if the auto shop still doesn't respond in a satisfactory way, it may be worth filing in court. First, though, you'll need to arm yourself with enough information to prove your case by getting another professional's opinion and reading your car manual. This will help you to better articulate to a judge why the repairs did not meet expectations. Any records or other information you can hold on to, such as photographs of the car before and after the repair, used parts from before the procedure or any written warranties, will also prove useful in court.

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