Our cars are very important, and when we leave them with a mechanic for repairs, we cannot stop worrying about the cost and quality of the work that is going on.
When you are researching auto body repair shops in San Diego, you can also find out if they have any Automotive Service Excellence certified mechanics.
Before going to the repair shop due to a check engine light or some other vehicle issue, consider taking it to an auto parts store who can run a computer diagnostic to test your vehicle, free of charge.
It is illegal for auto shops to:
- Knowingly make a false or misleading statement about the need for components, replacement, or repair service.
- Claim that work has been done or components were replaced when they were not.
- Represent that goods are original or new when they are actually second-hand or refurbished.
- Advertise goods or services with the intention not to sell them as described.
Authorizations to Inspect and to Repair Your Car
You should receive written authorization to tow, inspect, test drive, diagnose, or disassemble any component of your vehicle for the purposes of offering an estimate of repair costs before any action is taken. This authorization should also detail any actions that must be taken, the charges, and if any components will be removed or the car disassembled.
You may be required to sign both the authorization to inspect and the authorization to begin repair work simultaneously.
The authorization to start repairs should also include the date and time that the form was signed. If you choose to have repairs made, be sure that the initial work orderly clearly defines all work to be done, any fees, completion date, terms of payment, and other information.
What You Should Not Do
You should not allow anyone to inspect, disassemble, or lift your vehicle until you first have obtained a copy of the inspection authorization forms with your signature showing all the information discussed above. It is crucial to get everything in writing.
You should not allow anyone to speak on your behalf when negotiation vehicle repairs for your car. There are deceptive shows that will use this as an excuse to tack on extra and unnecessary charges on the basis that another party authorized the repairs.
You should not disclose your credit card number, driver’s license number, or any other personal information until you have clearly specified that providing that information is for the purposes of loan approval or unless you have approved the work. Once the work is finished, you will be ready to pay for it.
You should clearly indicate, in writing, that providing this information does not equal an authorization to inspect or repair your car. The authorization to inspect or repairs is an entirely separate authorization that should also require a signature from the customer.
Lastly, you should never leave any valuables in your vehicle when going in for a repair.
Typical Vehicle Repair Issues
You should look out for these potential issues when having work done on your vehicle:
- The garage waits until the car is on the lift and partly disassembled before receiving your authorization to continue with the repairs. By this time, you are basically forced to (a) authorize overpriced repairs or risk getting your vehicle back in a disassembled and unusable condition; or (b) pay a large and unexpected fee to have your vehicle reassembled, just to find out it no longer runs at all.
- The garage shows you dirty oil with metal filings in it to offer evidence that you need a new transmission. Nearly all used transmissions have dirty oil with some amount of dirt and metal filings. This is typical and is not really a sign that you need a whole new transmission, but once the transmission is disassembled and reassembled with the same old seals and parts, it often does not function the same as it did before.
- The garage starts repair work on your vehicle without first getting your authorization to perform the repair work and then charges you for repair work that you did not authorize.
- The garage provides you with an estimate as to the cost of repairs then charges a higher price after the repairs are done.
- The garage claims that repair services will be finished by a certain day in order to encourage the sail and then fails to have the repair services completed by that date.
- The garage fails to disclose reassembly or inspection charges before starting with the repair work.
- The garage advertises “free towing” and then requires that you pay for your towing expenses.
- The garage claims that it will provide a free rental vehicle while your car is being repaired and then requires you to pay for the rental expenses.
- The garage states that they will provide repair services pursuant to a warranty and then charges you for repair work covered by the warranty.
- The garage begins repair work before obtaining written approval of the loan from the finance company, in those instances where you borrow money to pay for vehicle repairs. If the loan company does not approve the loan, and the work is already completed, you may still be responsible for the payment if you cannot provide evidence of the deception.
- The garage charges for a computer diagnosis without telling you in advance that it was required.
San Diego Automobile Repair Shops
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing the best repair experiences. We will offer you hassle-free auto repairs starting with a precise damage assessment or estimate. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize for a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. Contact us today to see how we can help.