Once in a while, you’ll need to bring your car to an auto body shop. Some of these visits could be unplanned. And if it’s your first time hiring a mechanic, you have to be informed to avoid being ripped off. So if you’re going to an auto body shop to get your car repaired, make sure that you ask the following questions.
How much do you charge for diagnostics?
Before the mechanic proceeds to repair your car, they have to run diagnostics first. Usually, this will cost a separate fee. Before this starts, make sure that you ask the mechanic about the cost. This might be an awkward question, given that you’re already in the shop. Still, it pays to ask, so you’ll know how much you’ll be shelling out or filing for a claim.
Can I get a written estimate?
This is very crucial, especially if your car needs expensive repairs. A written estimate should have a breakdown of all the parts and services that will be used or done in your car. By asking a written estimate, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll spend on the repairs. It’s also a good way to avoid being ripped off by shady auto shops.
What parts are you going to use?
Auto shops can use either OEM or aftermarket parts. If your insurance company only uses OEM, you have to ensure that the auto shop will follow suit. Ask about the replacement parts and the certification it bears. In some cases, aftermarket parts are more accessible, though not all insurers will agree on this setup.
What are the certifications that you hold?
You should only deal with a mechanic that has the due license to provide car repairs. An ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification is a standard that most auto shops follow. Also, shops with the Blue Seal of Excellent from ASE are guaranteed to provide reliable service as they have been reviewed by the organization.
What’s wrong with my car?
Once you brought your car to an auto body shop, you should know everything that will happen to it. See to it that you ask about what’s wrong and what repairs will be done. This way, you’re not kept in the dark, plus you can prevent the problem next time.
How long would the repairs take?
Regardless if you use your car often or not, you should always ask the mechanic about the ETA. This is a way of holding them accountable for your car. Some auto shops will delay repairs to accommodate bigger clients. You wouldn’t want to wait in vain, especially if you need your car right away.
Are you going to work with my insurance?
If the repairs are covered on your insurance policy, you should ask the mechanic if they are going to work with your insurance claim. If not, it’s best to look for another shop that knows how to deal with insurance claims. This way, you wouldn’t have to shoulder the entire cost of the repairs.