Auto repair service is the process of repairing or replacing car parts and components. This can include replacing brakes, engine, transmission, and air-conditioning systems. Technicians perform this work on gasoline, hybrid, or alternative-fuel vehicles and also on recreational vehicle (RV) vehicles.
Some shops specialize in a particular area of repair, such as cylinder head and cylinder block machining, exhaust repair, or performance engine building. These facilities use large electromechanical machines that aren’t common at ordinary car repair shops.
These types of shops may employ mechanics who are trained in a specific field of automotive repair and have extensive experience. They can be found in cities, towns, and rural areas.
They typically charge a fixed rate per hour for labor and use a written estimate to describe the work that will be done on your car. This is the best way to protect yourself from unexpected charges and misunderstandings.
You can also check with your local consumer protection agency or the Attorney General’s office in your state to find out whether there are any complaints against a particular shop. If there are, you can try to resolve the issue with the manager of the shop before you authorize repairs.
Your state Department of Motor Vehicles regulates shops that perform service on vehicles. Its inspectors can ask questions, review records of complaints, and investigate violations of the Repair Shop Act or other regulations. If the inspectors determine that a shop has violated the Repair Shop Act or regulations, they can either send a warning letter to the shop or schedule a hearing and take action against it.
Before you go to an auto repair shop, read the customer service policies in the owner’s manual for your car. Look for the service contract that the shop uses and make sure it covers everything. You should also receive a copy of the work order and invoice for the repairs.
Some shops offer financing and payment plans for repairs. This can help you keep costs down, but be aware that high interest rates add up over time and could put a significant hole in your budget. You should also inquire about low-income grants or assistance, such as from your church or a local United Way chapter.
If you are going to have repairs done, be sure to take your car to a shop that will honor the manufacturer’s warranty or an extended warranty. If your warranty has expired, the dealership that sold you the car may still be the place to have it repaired.
Most vehicle warranties cover a wide range of services, including preventative maintenance and repair. If you’re having repairs done because of an underlying problem with the car, be sure to check the terms of your warranty before you leave the shop to ensure that the work will be covered.
Some auto repair shops also sell new and used auto parts. This can be a good way to save money on the cost of auto repairs. However, be sure to compare prices before you buy and beware of scams.