How old is the car you drive? If you are driving an average vehicle, then your car is around 10 years old, according to R. L. Polk & Co. Which means it needs plenty of tender loving care.
More and more people are keeping their cars longer rather than buying new, and it's reflected in auto part sales. Keeping your car in good shape is important if you want to hold onto it for many more years. Here are some tips from the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence to help you find good automotive service and easily communicate with a technician about any problems you may be experiencing:
* Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own. Look also for modern equipment in the service bays.
* Pay attention to policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees, acceptable methods of payment, etc.
* Bring a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the service consultant or mechanic/auto technician.
* Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your family doctor, tell where it hurts, how long it's been that way and let the auto technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.
* Look for evidence of qualified technicians, including trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced coursework and technician certification by ASE to indicate the presence of professional, trained technicians.
* Don't rush the shop by asking for an on-the-spot diagnosis. Request to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action and costs before the work begins.
* If you do have problems, or the shop was subpar in your opinion, schedule a time to meet with the owner or manager. Professionally run establishments will try to resolve legitimate consumer complaints.
* Reward good service with repeat business and customer loyalty.
To learn more about how to communicate with your auto technician, find a repair shop near you, or to download free car care tips, visit www.ase.com.