Five questions to ask at your auto shop

June 30th, 2015

Auto Repair Shop TN & VAAs a person on the go, you want to minimize miscommunications that may slow you down and throw off your schedule. So when you take your car in for repairs, you want to make sure everything is clear between you and your technician. Your auto repair shop is likely a busy place on a tight schedule, too, and the folks there are just as interested in getting things right the first time.

Making sure you get pertinent questions answered up front is a great way to avoid misunderstandings later. To be certain you and your mechanic are on the same page, here are some important questions to answer from the get-go.

1. Ask if they are familiar with the make and model of your vehicle.Most repair shops are experienced with all the major American models and some of the foreign brands. However, certain imports, like BMW or Saab, may require specialized tools for some repairs. If a shop doesn't work on your type of vehicle, it doesn't make sense to proceed further.

2. Ask whether the shop is affiliated with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).The ASE's mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service through testing and certification of auto mechanics, and a certificate from the ASE is a good indicator that your technicians are dedicated and serious about their work.

3. Get money matters straight at the beginning. Ask whether there is a charge for estimates/diagnoses, what their hourly rates are, what their credit/payment options are, whether an itemized work order and/or invoice will be provided and what guarantees or warranties they offer. Let's face it: Repairs cost money, but not everyone is comfortable talking about costs. However, to avoid misunderstandings and being blindsided by the bill, you need to bite the bullet and get through this discussion to have a clear understanding of what your costs are likely to be when all is said and done.

Also, if the possibility of grabbing some savings makes the prospect of talking money easier for you, ask if they have any specials or coupons for the work you want done.

4. After you have decided how to proceed, ask to go over it one more time. To reduce the chance of errors, after you have discussed the work to be done, review it again to make sure both you and your mechanic are clear on your expectations. Having an itemized work order to refer to at this point can ensure there are no surprises on either side.

5. Clarify when your car will be ready. Having dotted all the i's and crossed the t's on the work to be done, you don't want forget to establish when the job will be finished. You will also want to inquire about shuttle service.

At Free Service Tire, we'll happily answer all of these questions and more when you bring your car in for repairs. Our technicians are ASE certified and we work on all major domestic and foreign vehicle makes and models. We always go over with our customers the work they want done and ensure that all their questions are answered before we start a job. We offer financing and other payment options, plus our National Warranty guarantees our work. And we provide a courtesy shuttle service for our clients.

So if your vehicle needs work - from a tune-up to an engine overhaul - schedule an appointment online today at or find one of our locations near you:

  Posted in: Auto Repair, Auto Repair 101