Few of us enjoy taking our car into a repair shop. It’s inconvenient and having auto service performed costs money we would rather spend on something else. Media reports of repair industry dishonesty don’t help. They make even the savviest among us feel a twinge of paranoia when we enter a garage. Then, when it’s time to pay, we often pull out our checkbook or debit/credit card with a nagging fear that we are being overcharged.
Common Concerns About Auto Repair
Although our concerns about auto repair may be partially justified, they are often aggravated by one or more of the following factors:
- We don’t understand how modern automobiles work. This was true back when cars were completely mechanical devices, and it’s even truer today when computers and technology impact nearly every part of the vehicle.
- We lack confidence in our ability to recognize and explain our auto repair needs. The maintenance and repair of modern cars differ from that of older vehicles, and a lack of clear communication is the single biggest cause of auto repair dissatisfaction.
- We don’t always grasp the estimating process, or what it means when we are quoted a price to diagnose or repair a problem. Ironically, a good estimate is a powerful tool for reducing repair-related stress.
- We are concerned that the auto mechanic may not be able to fix our car right the first time, or may cause additional problems.
- We worry that the repair facility is selling us unneeded services just to boost its bottom line.
So what can vehicle owners do to reduce the stress that comes with obtaining auto repairs? We can start by becoming better educated about the concerns listed above. The AutoVillage will add to your understanding of modern vehicles, offers tips on communicating with repair shops, explains the benefits of written estimates, explores the qualifications of modern technicians, and helps you choose an auto repair shop.