The more you know about your car, the better you can predict when it will need repair or maintenance. This can help you avoid the hassle and expense of unexpected repairs. In many cases, it is possible to detect problems proactively by taking simple steps like inspecting your windshield wipers, checking the tires regularly and rotating them as needed, observing abnormal tire wear, listening for unusual sounds or even sniffing out odd odors.
Many newer cars come with a warranty covering factory defects for the first few years or miles. This type of warranty covers most maintenance items such as oil changes. It also covers some repairs such as replacing a broken taillight or repairing an air conditioning compressor. It is important to check the warranty before deciding on any repairs.
If you’re not sure of your car’s warranty status, consult your owner’s manual or dealer. Also, ask friends and family for recommendations on a reputable shop. You should also ask the shop to provide a written estimate before any work Auto Repair is done. This should identify the condition to be repaired and the parts required. It should also include the cost of labor and a reasonable time frame for completion. If the shop says it will need more time or money than expected, obtain another estimate from a different shop and compare.
Ask the shop to use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement parts whenever possible. OEM parts are manufactured by the same company that made your car, so they’re designed to fit and function as intended. Using OEM parts can help ensure the quality of the repair and may even prevent your warranty from being voided by an unsatisfactory repair job.
Before you sign for any work, make sure the shop gives you a completed repair order that describes all the repairs. It should also list any replaced parts, the price of each part, labor charges and the odometer reading at the time of service. In addition, you should be provided with any replaced parts unless they are being kept for warranty or exchange reasons. State law may require this.
When choosing a repair shop, look for one that has a clean shop and well-trained employees. Also, consider looking for shops with industry certifications, such as Automotive Service Excellence. While these certifications don’t guarantee quality workmanship, they can indicate that a shop follows basic standards of practice.
Once you’ve found a good repair shop, it is a good idea to establish a regular maintenance schedule. This should include regular oil changes, tire rotation and balancing, and brake inspections. Also, consider having the shocks and struts inspected periodically. Shocks and struts control the impact and rebound as your car rides over bumps, so they can affect handling and ride comfort.