Tips for Understanding Your Repair
I had two phone calls this week that inspired this blog post. A shop should clearly explain the repairs and the estimate or even steps to create the estimate; this does not always happen. In the end, however, the client needs to understand what they are purchasing.
Whenever faced with a big project, I often feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and short-fused. My mother taught me to break it down into pieces. Below I have created a guide to understand what your car needs into pieces.
Questions to ask yourself and things to investigate
Do I understand the systems addressed in the repair? A vehicle has many different systems from HVAC, to the engine to the cooling system to the charging—knowing what system the shop is repairing is step 1.
Do I understand how the system in question works? You don't need to write a ten paper about the system, but it is essential to have a basic understanding of how the system works. Here is an example. The cooling system's job is to keep the engine temperature within specifications. Coolant flows around the engine, absorbing heat. When first turning on the car, the engine is warming up. Once it reaches operating temperature, the thermostat opens, and then the coolant travels via the radiator hoses and heater hoses to the radiator and heater core, respectively, to dissipate heat. The water pump acts as the heart and circulates the coolant through the system.
Do I understand why the parts are bad and require replacement? Understanding why something is bad and needs replacement is extremely important. Plus, this can lead to discussions of avoiding a repeat event or starting a new preventive maintenance habit.
Is this my main concern? As silly as this question may seem, it is essential to verify your primary concern is being addressed. Or is your concern two things that are unrelated because they are part of different systems? If so, which repair is more important?
Asking yourself these four questions can help prevent the breakdown between shop and client. If you decide to call another shop for an opinion, it is important to know what you want to be quoted or have specific questions ready.