When your car breaks down, you'll quickly find yourself needing to visit an auto repair shop to get it back up and running. Instead of dropping your car off at the first place that can work on it to speed up the repair process, you should ask some basic questions about the type of service you will receive. Asking these 2 things can help you know if your car will be in good hands.
What Kind of Parts Will Be Used To Fix The Car?
An auto shop will not always replace a part with the exact part that was in it. There are actually different part classifications, and the auto shop leaves it up to their own discretion about what kind of part they use.
A commonly used term is OEM, or original equipment manufacturer. It's used to describe a part that is created by the auto manufacturer that built your car, and it is identical to the part that is being replaced. There are also performance auto parts, which are referred to as aftermarket parts. These are made by a different manufacturer than your car and are generally cheaper than OEM parts. While they can work just as great as OEM parts, some people prefer to have only official parts made by the manufacturer used on their car.
When you are given a quote to repair your car, always ask what kind of part will be used. You may have the option to use a performance part to save money on the repair, or insist that you want the OEM part. For example, you may be worried that a performance part could potentially void the warranty on your car.
What Kind of Certifications Do The Mechanics Have?
There are state laws that list the requirements for mechanic certification at an auto repair facility. For example, Michigan requires that at least one mechanic working at the facility hold a certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Trainee mechanics can work under the certified mechanic, but they must sign off on all work that the trainee does.
While it is completely acceptable for a trainee to work on a car under the guidance of a certified mechanic, it is understandable to have reservations about it. Always ask what kind of certification the mechanic work on your car has to help you understand who is doing the work and the final inspection of it.
With the answers to these two questions, you can feel good about the auto shop you are taking your car to.