Choosing a Car Repair Shop
You need your cable car, and when you leave it in the shop for repairs, you ca n’t help worrying about the cost and the quality of the work that ‘s going on under the hood .
Your best protection from fraud and faulty repair work is to find a reputable automobile mechanic or animate shop before your car needs to be repaired .
Do your homework to check on a repair shop ’ s reputation on-line and with friends and kin. When you ‘re researching repair shops, you can besides find out whether they have any mechanics that are ASE ( Automotive Service Excellence ) certified .
Before you go to the repair shop and the engine check light up is on, consider taking it to an car parts store who may run a computer diagnostic test on your fomite dislodge of charge. You can then compare this to what you are told by the animate denounce.
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Under the law, it is illegal to:
- knowingly make a false or misleading statement about the need for parts, replacement or repair service;
- state that work has been done or parts were replaced when that is not true;
- represent that goods are original or new, when in fact they are second-hand or refurbished; and
- advertise goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised.
Under the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, you normally do not have to use a franchise for regular alimony or a manufacturer ’ s replacement parts to maintain your manufacturer ’ mho guarantee. For more information about your guarantee rights under federal law, visit hypertext transfer protocol : //www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance .
Authorizations to Inspect and to Repair
You should get a written mandate to tow, inspect, test drive, diagnose, or disassemble any part of your car for the purposes of providing an appraisal of repair costs, anterior to the action being taken. This authority should describe the actions to be taken, the charges, and whether any parts will be removed or the vehicle disassembled. For more information, see the Texas DMV ’ s locate on Smart Repairs .
You may be asked to sign both the authority to inspect and the authority to commence compensate work at the like prison term. The authorizations may be on the same part of paper, but they should require a distinguish touch. Read each one carefully before bless .
The authorization to commence repairs should besides include the go steady and time that you signed the form. If you decide to have repairs made, make certain the initial workplace order clearly specifies the work to be done, fees, completion date, terms of payment, and more. For more information, see the Texas DMV ’ s site on Smart Repairs .
Things You Should Not Do
You should not allow your car to be inspected, disassembled, or lifted up on a scud until you have obtained a copy of the inspection authority forms with your signature showing the information outlined above .
You should not assume that a friendly verbal agreement will get your car fixed without arguments, lawsuits, or repossessions. Get everything in writing.
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You should not allow anyone to speak for you in negotiating car repairs on your vehicle. Deceptive shops will use this as an apologize to add on extra charges, on the grounds that some other person authorized the repairs .
You should not disclose your credit card report number, driver ‘s license number, or any other personal data unless you clearly specify that giving the information is alone for loan approval purposes, or unless you have approved the work, the work is finished, and you are ready to pay for it .
You should distinctly indicate in writing that giving this information does not constitute an mandate to inspect or repair your vehicle. The authorization to inspect or compensate is a completely separate authorization that should besides require your touch. Deceptive shops will extract this personal information from you, start oeuvre without your authorization, and then claim that you authorized the cultivate because you provided this information and would not have done indeed unless you had authorized the repairs .
You should not leave valuables in your car.
Common Car Repair Issues
Watch out for these potential problems:
- The shop waits until the vehicle is up on the lift and partially disassembled before getting your authorization to proceed with the repairs. By then, you are essentially forced to: (a) authorize overpriced repairs or risk getting your car back in a disassembled and unusable condition; or (b) pay a large and unexpected fee to have your vehicle reassembled, only to discover it no longer runs at all;
- The shop shows you dirty oil with metal filings in it as evidence that you need a new transmission. Virtually all used transmissions have dirty oil with some amount of dirt and metal filings. This is normal and is not necessarily a sign that you need a whole new transmission. However, once the transmission is disassembled and reassembled with the same old seals and parts, it usually does not work the same as before;
- The shop starts repair work on your car without first getting your authorization to perform the repair work, and then charges you for repair work that you did not authorize;
- The shop gives you a verbal estimate as to the cost of repairs, then charges a higher price;
- The shop represents that repair services will be completed by a certain day in order to induce the sale, then fails to have the repair services completed by that day;
- The shop fails to disclose reassembly or inspection charges before starting repair work;
- The shop advertises “Free towing” and then requires you to pay for your towing costs;
- The shop says it will provide a free rental car during repairs and then requires you to pay for the rental charges;
- The shop says they will provide repair services pursuant to a warranty then charges you for repair work covered by the warranty;
- The shop starts repair work before obtaining written approval of the loan from the finance company, in those instances where you borrow money to pay for repairs. If the loan company does not approve the loan, and the work is already done, you may still be liable for the payment if you can’t show the deception;
- The shop fails to notify you and secure your additional approval, in writing, for any additional work to be done that was not set forth in the original written agreement;
- The shop charges for a computer diagnosis without telling you in advance it was required.
Resolving Disagreements Over the Bill
If the charge is a lot higher than the appraisal, or if the oeuvre was done without your mandate and you feel that you have been overcharged, question the bill. Have the workshop write out the reasons for the deviation in cost, and keep this written explanation together with the make estimate, final bill, and other paperwork. Make certain the mechanic returns your old parts. ( The mechanic may return some parts, such as alternators and brake shoes, to the parts supplier for a refund, so you may not be able to get all of them. )
tied if you are unsated with the machinist ‘s explanation of the difference between the estimate and the final commission, keep in heed that if you refuse to pay a repair bill — flush a bill in quarrel — the mechanic has the legal justly to keep your car until you pay. You can then file a complaint with the Attorney General ‘s position or the Better Business Bureau and/or file a minor claims court law suit against the automobile mechanic .
If you suspect that the repair denounce has not by rights repaired the vehicle or charged you excessively much and you ca n’t get them to resolve the problem to your gratification, your first footfall should be to take your car to another repair shop. Give the second machinist a copy of your enumerate reception and order an inspection of the alleged repairs and parts. Get this report in writing. If you notice the same problem with your car is recurring, or find a new problem that should not have arisen, you will be in a better position to negotiate a refund from the first automobile mechanic if you get a second machinist ‘s public opinion of the work done in write .
If you paid by credit card and are unhappy with the repairs that were performed by the machinist, then you may dispute the charge with your credit poster party. To dispute the charge, you must do sol in writing to your credit calling card company and it must be done within 60 days after you have received the accredit card bill. Make sure you send the dispute letter and all relevant data ( receipts and software documentation supporting your position ) to the bill inquiry address and not the payment address. The Federal Trade Commission ( “ FTC ” ) has an exercise of a sample quarrel letter that you may use. The credit rating card company will investigate the issues you have raised and find out the automobile mechanic ’ second side of the dispute. The accredit card party will let you know whether they agree with you or not. For more information on this capable, you can go to the FTC web site .