If you’re like most Californians, you depend on your vehicle every day. So, you ideally want to keep your vehicle in good condition and maintain a solid working relationship with your auto repair shop, right? If you do have a problem with a repair shop, this guide to automotive repair in California, will help you understand your rights as a consumer. Let’s dive in.
Follow Your Owner’s Manual
Your owner's manual explains what your car's warning indicators mean and what to do if they come on. Paying attention to those indicators can keep small problems from growing. You should also pay attention to how your car performs when you’re driving. Note anything out of the ordinary and deal with it as soon as possible. Remember that simple and inexpensive procedures like oil changes help your car last longer. Follow the manufacturer's recommended schedule, found in your owner’s manual, for oil changes and other maintenance to help prevent serious problems.
Select a Repair Shop Ahead of Time
It’s smart to find a repair shop before you need one. Ask family, friends, and co-workers which repair shops they prefer and why. Make sure to verify that the shop you are considering is registered with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) in California. You should seek out a repair shop with auto repair, smog check, and lamp and brake inspections licenses. At DEKRA, we happily offer these services. Come try them out to determine if we’re the shop for you!
Know Your Rights as a Consumer
By law, the auto repair shop must provide a written estimate before doing any work. Before you sign, be sure you understand the work the technician will do. Never sign a blank work order. Newer cars often need a diagnosis before repairs can be done. A diagnosis uses procedures established by the auto manufacturer to determine the cause of the malfunction. No work can be done until you’ve given your permission. After the work is done, you should receive a detailed invoice of the work done and the parts supplied. You should also get replaced parts returned if requested at the time the work order is placed.
Keep your vehicle running properly, avoid auto repair shop issues, and understand your rights! The state of California wants to keep you driving safely and freely.
Want to save $5 on your next smog check? Download our coupon!