More consumer complaints (and sometimes legal issues) arise out of car repairs than all but a handful of issues. See the helpful hints below to protect yourself.

Car Repair

  • Choose a reliable repair shop recommended to you by family or friends or an independent consumer rating organization. Check out the repair shop’s complaint record with your state or local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
  • When you take the car to the shop, describe the symptoms. Don’t diagnose the problem.
  • Get more than one estimate in writing.
  • Make it clear that work cannot begin until you have authorized it. Don’t authorize work without a written estimate or, if the problem can’t be diagnosed on the spot, insist that the shop contact you for your authorization once the trouble has been found. Don’t sign a blank repair order. Make sure the repair order reflects what you want done before you sign it.
  • Is the repair covered under warranty? Follow the warranty instructions.
  • Ask the shop to keep the old parts for you.
  • Get all warranties in writing.
  • Some car manufacturers may be willing to repair certain problems without charge even though the warranty has expired. Contact the manufacturer’s zone representative or the dealer’s service department for assistance.
  • Keep copies of all paperwork.
  • Some states, cities and counties have special laws that deal with auto repairs. For information on the laws in your state, contact your state or local consumer protection office.

See also…

Consumer Complaints