Tips for Talking to Your Technician
Modern vehicles are very high-tech, and unless you’re a trained automotive technician, you may not know exactly what makes your car tick…or rather, not tick, if your vehicle isn’t running well. But on the other hand, you know your car better than anyone—you drive it every day and you know how it feels and sounds when everything’s right. So how do you best communicate with your auto shop, bringing together your firsthand knowledge of your vehicle and your shop’s technical skill and experience?
1. Do some homework before you take your vehicle in for repairs and service.
We’re not asking you to do our job for us, but it helps to know the basics about your vehicle so you can speak with confidence about your car’s history and current condition. Read the owner’s manual to learn about your car’s systems and components, and follow the recommended service schedules. Then, keep a log of all repairs and service.
2. Once you’re at the shop, thoroughly communicate your needs and concerns.
If you suspect something’s wrong with your vehicle, be prepared to describe the symptoms that concern you, such as unusual sounds, changes in performance, or problems in handling. It’s helpful to write down a list of the symptoms and give it to the service writer or technician working on your vehicle. Also, resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your doctor, explain your symptoms and how long you’ve had them, but let the technician diagnose the problem and recommend a remedy.
3. While your car is at the shop, stay involved and ask questions.
Ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in the shop’s maintenance and repair suggestions. Just as it’s important for you to communicate openly with the shop, it’s important for the shop to communicate openly with you. A good service writer or technician is able to translate complex technical jargon into plain English for the average customer. Also, make sure you understand the shop’s policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment. There shouldn’t be any surprises when you go to pick up your vehicle.
At Aardvark Automotive, we emphasize the importance of communication in auto repairs. We love getting to know our customers, and talking to them about their vehicles. The better we get to know you and your car, the better we can do our job—and our goal is always to do the best job we can!