According to R.L. Polk in Southfield, Mich. reports that cost-conscious customers are opting to keep their cars and trucks in good condition rather than trading them in for a new model. Consumer Reports revealed that many drivers postpone needed repairs and maintenance to save money.
Delaying service can be dangerous. AAA Motor Club, Heathrow, Fla., believes that the best way to reduce costs over the lifetime of a car is to select a full-service expert mechanics in Auckland repair facility (or dealer service department) to do the maintenance and repairs. This helps to prevent breakdowns and can save money because drivers are able to do a smaller repair today rather than make a larger one later, says John Nielsen, AAA Director of Automotive Repair.
The decision to take your car in for service is just the first step. Consumers who want to get the best value for their money on maintenance and repairs need to understand how to deal with automotive technicians. This will ensure that their trip to the shop doesn’t end up being a disaster. An informal survey conducted of independent mechanics, repair experts and other auto service professionals revealed a number of things to do and avoid when bringing your car to the shop for repairs or maintenance.
1. It is important to communicate clearly.
The more a customer can tell a mechanic about the problems with their vehicle, the easier it will be for the technician to diagnose the issue and fix it. Write down what’s wrong with your car, including specific sounds, smells, feelings, and leaks. Also note when they happen. What happened the day before your car wouldn’t start, or what did it do the night before? Note when you last had the car serviced, because today’s issue may be related last month’s repair.
This list of auto terms can be used as a checklist to determine if your vehicle is in need of repair.
- Backfire: Backfire is a gunshot sound coming from the engine.
- Bottoming: A loud, harsh noise that is usually heard through the steering column or passenger compartment as you drive over bumps.
- Buckling: When the vehicle is lurching and the vehicle is jerking, it means that the transmission or engine are slipping.
- Dieseling: When the engine runs for a short time after it has been turned off, and continues to burn fuel.
- Hesitation: A brief loss of acceleration power.
- Knocking: Also known as “detonation,” is a rapid rattle that can be heard when you accelerate.
- Misfire: A hesitation that occurs when the fuel in one or several cylinders of an engine fails to ignite.
- Shimmy : Side-to-side movement that is felt by the tires or steering wheel.
- Sluggish: How a vehicle feels when it is not accelerating quickly or smoothly enough.
- Surge: An abrupt, upward change in engine speed.
2. Plan to leave your car in the shop for a full day if necessary.
Be prepared to leave your car for a full day in order to get the necessary repairs. You will also need to pay for both parts and labor. Even if you need a quick repair, be aware that there could be other cars in front of yours at the mechanic’s queue. Ask how long your car will be in the garage and make arrangements for transportation. Always get an estimate of the cost before you allow the mechanic to begin repairs or services.
3. Do not drop off a dirty or cluttered vehicle.
This is not only a common courtesy but it can also affect the quality and cost of repairs. Before bringing your vehicle in for service, make sure you clean it up and remove any items such as golf clubs, strollers and construction equipment from the trunk and back seat. They may be removed by the mechanic to gain access to a particular part or to perform a repair. Or, they could weigh the vehicle down to the point that it negatively affects its performance.
4. You should be available to the mechanic.
Leave your phone number and reply promptly. The car will remain unattended if the technician cannot contact you for approval of a repair. You’ll also want to know if the car has been repaired and the cost of the service before returning to the shop.
5. Leave the technician alone.
Almost every mechanic interviewed in its survey of service disliked having customers hover over them while they were working. It’s fine to talk to your mechanic about the problem and spend some time with it, but it can be distracting and dangerous. Take a seat and enjoy a coffee in the waiting area while you wait for a quick service or diagnosis.