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ASE Advice for Busy Consumers

 

ASE Advice for Busy Consumers

Today’s busy schedules and high-tech vehicles leave most drivers with neither the time nor inclination for a Saturday afternoon of shade-tree tinkering. But motorists still can do their part by becoming involved in the process with their repair shop and auto technician. According to the experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), good communication between shop and customer can help ensure satisfactory auto service.

Here’s a checklist from ASE of what you need to know and what you need to communicate to help make the repair process go smoothly:

     • Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.

     • Read the owner’s manual to learn about the vehicle’s systems and components.

     • Follow the recommended schedules maintenance for your particular make and model car. SUBARU Scheduled Maintenance

     • Keep a log of all repairs and service. 

     • Don’t ignore your vehicle’s warning signals, whether explicit dashboard messages or more subtle changes in performance and handling.

     • Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:

     • Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.

     • Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.

     • Worn tires, belts, and hoses.

     • Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.

Note when the problem occurs.

     • Is it constant or periodic?

     • When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up?

     • At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?

     • When did the problem first start?

Once you are at the repair establishment, communicate your findings.

     • Be prepared to describe the symptoms. (In larger shops you’ll probably speak with a service consultant instead of a technician directly.)

      • Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give to the technician or service consultant.

      • Do not suggest a specific course of repair; let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

Stay involved . . .Ask questions.

    • Ask questions. Do not be embarrassed to request simple definitions of technical terms.

     • Professionally run repair establishments have always recognized the importance of two-way communications in automotive repairs. 

     • Don’t rush the service writer or technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. Ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs
before work begins.

     • Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.

     • Leave a telephone number where you can be called.