If you are worried about an auto body shop puffing up the amount of work that needs to be done, go and get free diagnostics from somewhere else. Since there is no guarantee you will get work done by them, they have no reason to claim there is more needed than necessary.
Understand the repair costs prior to leaving your car with any shop. Labor costs especially can run at different levels from shop to shop, especially if a specialist is involved. You’ll want to know what you are getting into prior to learning about it the hard way days later.
Be open to asking any questions that cross your mind. Auto repair is a very complex thing. You will have questions, and don’t feel intimidated about asking them. If you don’t, you may not completely understand why the repairs were needed in the first place or how costly the current situation really is.
When performing your own car repairs, make sure you budget enough time to get the job done. It’s easy to underestimate how long a repair job will take. You may encounter difficult to remove bolts or nuts, or find out a part is harder to remove than you anticipated. Giving yourself enough time to complete the repair safely will make the job much less stressful.
If your car’s electrical system is behaving strangely, try cleaning the ground cables. Auto makers use the metal body of a vehicle to act as a “ground” for the electrical system. Over time the area where this cable connects to the frame can corrode, causing a stray electrical current that can wreak havoc on your system. This cable is usually connected on the firewall or fender, so simply disconnect it and use a wire brush or sandpaper to clean the contacts.
Go to a repair shop you are considering for the long haul with a smaller job first. It can be something as simple as an oil change or a tire rotation. This will give you at least a better hint of their capabilities, workmanship and friendliness before a bigger issue occurs.
Consider investing in a service contract. Getting a service contract is similar to insuring your vehicle; you will pay a monthly fee to keep your contract valid and the company that issues the contract will cover needed repairs. Choose your contract carefully and find a contract that covers things you will actually need.
Don’t postpone repairs on your car. Many car parts are interrelated. Your car can be in a lot of trouble if you ignore or postpone maintenance. Your car’s individual parts or entire system can fail. Even ignoring or neglecting simple maintenance jobs like checking the coolant or changing the oil can lead to costly issues. You could even invalidate your warranty.
There are quite a few body shops that are just out there to take off the tires you have and put older ones on. They are attempting to make money this way. Mark your tires with chalk. If the marks are gone when you get your vehicle back, you have probably been swindled.
Always read your owner’s manual before you begin to repair your vehicle. There may be information in your manual that you need to know in order to keep from making a huge mistake. To be sure that you do not waste time and money be sure to look through your manual before you even start.
Upon visiting a repair shop, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You’re putting your car in the hands of people that you may not know. You should find out everything about what they’re going to do to the car and how much it will cost. The more you know, the less you’ll be surprised when the bill comes.