The average age of automobiles today is at an all-time high. Many car owners conscious about the cost of cars are prepared to keep and maintain their existing vehicle instead of trading them in for newer models. A lot of these car owners are also pushing forward necessary maintenance or repairs as a way of saving some money.
However, when you delay servicing or maintaining your vehicle, you’re not only engaging in a false way of saving money, but you’re also putting the safety of your car in jeopardy.
Most car experts believe that the best way to save some cash in relation to the life of your automobile is to select a repair shop that offers high-quality service. You may also choose the service department of a dealer and let them handle everything to do with maintaining and repairing your car. It will help prevent breakdowns and save you money by carrying out simple and smaller repairs now instead of dealing with a much bigger repair later down the track.
It’s not enough to have your car brought in for servicing – this is only part of the hurdle. It’s also important that you know the best way to deal with your auto technician so that you get the best maintenance service possible and that your experience at a repair shop won’t be a sour one.
There are a lot of DO'S and DON’TS when it comes to dealing with maintenance or repair auto mechanics. We summarise them below.
How you communicate with an auto mechanic will go a long way in determining the quality of service that your car gets. The better you’re able to impart to your auto mechanic what the problem with your car is, the easier it will be for him to make an accurate diagnosis of the problem and have it fixed quickly.
A good idea would be to write down in advance what you have noticed about your car. Note the specific sounds that it makes, the sensations, leakages, and abnormal smells, and when exactly they occurred, and how frequently they occurred. Anything of note that happened before your automobile stopped working and how it performed the day before your car broke down should also be written down. Also, take note of the date when you last had your car serviced because some problems may be related to a previous repair.
Below is a list that can help explain basic car symptoms. It can also be used as a checklist when taking your vehicle for repairs:
Backfire: This is a sound similar to a gunshot. It comes from the tailpipe of the car or even the engine.
Bottoming: The harshness that you feel through the steering when you go over bumps.
Bucking: A hesitation in the engine or a slip in transmission as you change gears, causing the car to lurch.
Dieseling: this happens when the engine keeps burning fuel and continues to run for a short while after being switched off.
Hesitation: Losing power briefly while accelerating.
Knocking: The rattling you hear when you accelerate.
Misfire: failure of the fuel in any of the cylinders in an engine to ignite appropriately.
Shimmy: side to side movement that you feel through the car tires/steering wheel.
Sluggish: the feeling you get when your car doesn’t accelerate smoothly
Surge: the sudden upward change in engine speed.
The mutually exclusive words in auto repairs are - fast, cheap, good. If you wish to get the best service for your vehicle, then prepare to leave it at the repair shop for much of the day and also be ready to pay the price for car parts and work time.
Discuss with the mechanic the sourcing of auto parts and what types of parts you want installed, such as aftermarket, genuine, or OEM parts. If you prefer to source the parts yourself, ask the mechanic to give you the exact specs and codes.
Be prepared to have some waiting time. Even if your car requires little repair work, you must realise that other vehicles may have been there before yours so it would be wise to queue up.
Enquire from the repair shop how long it would take to have your car fixed. Also, ensure that you ask about the cost estimate and get a detailed breakdown before you agree to the service.
Be Courteous - Keep your vehicle neat
This implies basic courtesy, which plays a role in the quality of the repair your car will get. Keep your vehicle tidy and clean before taking it to a repair shop and ensure that you remove unnecessary items from the back seat and the car trunk, such as golf clubs, hats, shoes, and so on. Your mechanic may have to get them out to be able to do his job, and this could weigh the car down to the point of affecting its performance.
Ensure that you leave a contact number at the repair shop so that you can be contacted. If a mechanic does not have your approval for a particular procedure, then your car will remain untouched for the period that you were not reachable. More so, you will need to be informed when your vehicle will be ready for picking up and how much you need to pay.
Give the Technician Some Space
A lot of mechanics do not like their customers hovering around and over them while they do their job. It is a good thing to take time to explain in detail the problem to your technician, but you should not hang around them as it could distract them, and it could also be dangerous. Instead, give them some space and use the waiting room and get some coffee while you wait.