Chicago, IL – February 9, 2012 - When
your vehicle needs repairs, you don't need a crash course in auto
mechanics, but you should know how to find a reliable shop and mechanic. The Better
Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) recommends a few
key points to ensure your automobile gets fixed without a glitch.
While most auto repair shops are legitimate, there are always an
unscrupulous few that end up taking thousands of unnecessary repair dollars
from consumers. In the last 12 months, the Chicago BBB received more than 1,070
complaints against auto repair services, up
15-percent over the previous 12 month period; the BBB also fielded more than 38,180
inquiries in the last 12 months from consumers looking to find a reliable business
in the industry.
“Whenever you take your car to the shop,
never try to diagnose the problem yourself. Describe the symptoms and ensure
the work cannot begin until you have a written estimate for the scope of work
and given your okay,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better
Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois.
The BBB recommends considering the
following when taking your car in for auto repair services:
warranty. If you have a problem with your vehicle while it is still under
warranty, follow the manufacturer's instructions which may require that repairs
be made at an authorized dealership.
Ask around. Look for shops that
display certification. For major work, such as brakes, transmission or engine
repair, you will need to find a shop employing a specialist.
If you are looking for a qualified, independent shop, get a list of
BBB Accredited Businesses that do the type of auto repair you need
for free at www.bbb.org
Ask all the
questions that you need. Don't be embarrassed to request thorough explanations.
Make sure you are clear on their appraisal of the problem, suggested course of
action and cost of work before you reach a decision.
authorizing repairs, get a written estimate for parts and labor. Tell the shop to
get your permission before making additional repairs. Ensure you receive
notification by having the service manager write a request on the bottom of the
repair order. Give phone numbers where you can be reached and, before you
leave, be sure to understand all shop policies regarding labor rates,
guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
Get everything in writing. When you
pick up your vehicle, get an explanation of all work completed and get all guarantees
in writing. Ask for any major new parts that have been installed be pointed out
to you. Your repair bill should be itemized so, if a problem occurs later, you
can prove the item is covered by the guarantee.
For more information about auto repair dealers, visit www.bbb.org
As a private,
non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to
promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by
means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising
claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop
and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.