Handing your car over to a mechanic isn’t a decision you take lightly. You need your car
for daily life and without it, you feel a little less like yourself. When trusting a mechanic with one of your most prized possessions, it’s important that you feel confident it's in good hands. If your mechanic or repair shop can’t answer these five important questions, run (or maybe roll) away and don’t look back. This handy checklist will help ensure you get the repair experience that you, and your car, deserve.
Question #1: What are my repair options and can you explain each?
Most car issues have more than one solution. Some mechanics, however, may route you into the most expensive one by not fully explaining your other choices. Ask about all potential routes, and make sure your mechanic explains each one thoroughly. Not every driver is an automotive expert, and that's OK! Don’t feel embarrassed to ask lots of questions. It's your mechanic's job to help you understand the ins-and-outs of your car and help you make the most informed decision.
Question #2: What certifications do you have?
Reputable technicians will have certification from the National Institute for Automobile Service Excellence (ASE). ASE-certified technicians have shown proof of expertise and experience in their field, and they're re-tested regularly to ensure they're on top of the industry's ever-changing technology. There are currently about 213,094 ASE-certified automotive technicians across the country, with Firestone Complete Auto Care employing more ASE-certified technicians than anyone else in the industry.
Question #3: Can you provide me with a maintenance plan?
Great mechanics not only want to give your car back in excellent condition, they want to help you keep your car in excellent condition. Ask your mechanic for a maintenance schedule and compare it with the manufacturer’s recommendation in the owner’s manual. Go by the manufacturer's recommendations and wave goodbye to a mechanic who’s trying to sell you services you don’t need.
Pro-Tip: You can visit any Firestone Complete Auto Care for a complimentary print out of your vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule, or access it online at any time.
Question #4: Can I see my old parts?
If your mechanic is replacing a part on your car, ask them to return your old parts in the box of the new part. Not only is this educational for you, as you'll be able to see the before and after, but it also helps ensure that the part was replaced. Even if you can't take the old part with you because it's too heavy, leaky, or messy, ask to see it nonetheless. As the saying goes: knowledge is power! If your mechanic refuses, think twice before letting them touch your vehicle.
Question #5: What kind of warranties do you offer?
Shops give certain guarantees on products and services they provide, but warranties vary greatly from shop to shop. Before the car repair shop begins work on your car, ask them about warranty options. Shops that are confident in their mechanics and the services they perform will provide guarantees, similar to Firestone Complete Auto Care's "Fixed Right, On Time Guarantee."
A mechanic who answers all of these questions to your satisfaction is a mechanic you can trust with your car. Firestone Complete Auto Care’s experts have been in business for nearly 100 years—you’ll be hard-pressed to find another auto shop that can say that. If you need a car repair, schedule your appointment today and bring these questions with you. We're proud of our mechanics and the work they do, and we think you will be too. At Firestone Complete Auto Care, your car will be serviced right the first time, guaranteed.