5 Auto Repair Questions You Should Ask Your Mechanic
There’s a running joke in the United States that auto mechanics take advantage of customers without enough information to know when they’re being lied to. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we are on a mission to de-bunk this stereotype. While we can’t guarantee the ethics of every auto repair shop, we can give you the power to educate yourself in these matters.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of the five most important questions to ask your auto mechanic the next time your car needs service. Even asking the question and expecting an answer will let your mechanic know you refuse to be intimidated into paying for an unnecessary service.
1. How long will the repair or service take?
Before handing over your keys, make sure to have a set date you can expect your car to be ready for pickup. Especially if you’re leaving your car overnight, it’s important to have a transportation plan during the repair so you’re not left stranded for days without a clear end in sight.
2. How will I get to the auto repair shop?
Just like you need to know how long the repair will take, you need a way to get to and from the auto repair shop. That’s where Christian Brothers Automotive has you covered. If your car is being serviced, we encourage you to take advantage of our free courtesy shuttle.
Our complimentary shuttle service will drop you off at work or home and then pick you up when the repair is complete. If your service will cost more than $300, we even offer a free rental car. Never be left stranded again.
3. When is my car due for its next routine maintenance check?
Your auto repair technician should be able to provide a maintenance checklist. This checklist will allow you to plan a service schedule and minimize trips to the repair shop. Regular checks and maintenance services can extend the life of your car and will save you money in the long run.
Remember to schedule an oil change every 5000-7,000 miles, a tire rotation about once every 6,000-10,000 miles and a battery replacement about every three years.
4. What kind of warranty do you offer?
Make sure the auto repair center guarantees their work. Christian Brothers Automotive offers a 2-year/24,000-mile Nice Difference Warranty on almost every service. If a replacement part malfunctions or a repair results in another breakdown, you shouldn’t be left paying for a mechanic’s negligence.
At Christian Brothers Automotive, our Nice Difference Warranty guarantees you receive the right repair the first time.
5. What is your estimate process?
An ethical auto repair shop will offer a free estimate and will explain each repair in clear detail. If you feel resistance when asking for more explanation on a recommendation, or your estimate is not provided in a face-to-face conversation, be on guard.
It’s your right to know exactly what kind of service will be performed, and why. It’s also your right to approve (or deny) any service before it happens. Clear, detailed estimates will prevent any surprise repairs or costs along the way.
3 Auto Repair Lies You Probably Believe
Few things are more frustrating than paying for an unnecessary auto repair. Unfortunately, there is a lot of mis-information floating around about when to get what car service. To alleviate some stress and clear up a few misconceptions, Christian Brothers Automotive has found three auto repair myths to de-bunk. If you’ve been following any of these three pieces of advice, here is the truth about your car repair.
1. Your oil should be changed every 3,000 miles
Admittedly, auto mechanics love this myth. Getting an oil change is quick and cheap, but it’d still be nice to save that money whenever possible. While it’s true some vehicles should still be getting an oil change every 3,000 miles, most can wait a while longer. If your car is put under an excessive amount of strain (hours of commuting every day, constantly sitting in gridlock traffic or driving through rough terrain), stick to the 3,000 mile rule.
However, most vehicles can last 5,000 miles or as many as 7,000 miles without new motor oil. If you’re worried you’ve been over-changing your oil, check with a member of Christian Brothers Automotive’s professional staff. Explain your driving habits and car model and our technicians will tell you how often you really need to be changing the oil.
2. Squeaking brakes are normal
Yes, sometimes brake squeaking can be normal. If the squealing happens only during a sudden stop, you’re probably fine. Likewise, incredibly dusty or exceptionally humid conditions can cause the brakes to squeak on occasion.
However, his myth can be incredibly dangerous – especially if something is actually wrong with your brakes. Brakes are designed to squeak and squeal when there is a problem, so if your brakes are making noise every day it’s time to schedule a brake inspection. It’s always better to find out the noise is nothing than to confirm a real problem when your brakes suddenly stop working.
3. Your car battery died because it needs to be replaced
This is another myth auto mechanics love. If your battery is more than three years old and dies, it might actually need replacing. However, there are a number of reason why a battery could stop working.
Often, a quick jump can bring the battery back to life. Leaving on your headlights, dome lights or stereo can temporarily drain the battery. Corrosion on the top of the battery can also keep it from recharging fully. Rather than immediately buying a replacement, give your battery a jump and then wait a few more days to see how it holds up. Unless your battery is more than a few years old, the drain might have been a temporary issue.
DISCOVER THE NICE DIFFERENCE
Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee every auto mechanic will give you the service you deserve. What we can do is give you the power to stay educated and in control of your auto repair and service. We can also promise every customer that comes into Christian Brothers Automotive will receive honest service from a professional staff.
Don’t be intimidated by misinformation. Raise the level of expectation and stay informed every step of the way.