How your car repair warranty works (Part 1)
Understanding your warranty – Not all car mechanics are out to get you!
There are a lot of misunderstandings about how the auto repair warranty works when you approve service at your local garage. Let’s pretend you’re having an issue with your car, and your mechanic indicates that it is an electronic issue, and will need to be tested thoroughly before a repair recommendation can be made.
PROBLEM #1: What if you refuse to allow a mechanic to perform tests? Well, this happens quite a bit. The thinking out there is that “honest” mechanics should be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong with your car in 5 minutes, after reading the trouble codes…just like your neighborhood parts store does for you for FREE.
ANSWER #1: That’s not true. Reading a trouble code may reference a system on your car, or even mention the likelihood of a potential fault with one or more parts. It doesn’t GUARANTEE that the part you need will be magically revealed. We call that, “Throwing parts at cars”. Many shops refuse to do this, because 99% of customers who ask to take on the risk of guessing without testing WILL SURELY be angry at the mechanic for “all this money” they spent, and try to blame the guy who gave you the choice to begin with.
PROBLEM #2: So now I’m mad at him, and I’m going elsewhere for more service.
ANSWER #2: BAD IDEA. You surely don’t need to return to any one service provider, but be careful in understanding how warranty service works. Most repair shops will only honor warranty service performed at THEIR SHOP, and will not reimburse you if you elect to go elsewhere, regardless of what the “other” shop says. Just as a side note here, by the way… Contrary to popular belief, most auto shops do not “work together”, either for the benefit of the customer, or to deceitfully conspire to make more money. The opposite is true most of the time. All too often, auto repair shop staff LOVES to tell the customer in front of them that “the other guy” must’ve really messed things up before, but don’t worry…WE’RE HERE to make sure it’s finally done right. Of course, that tactic doesn’t often encourage the customer to FIRST make sure there’s no warranty coverage they could get free elsewhere, and they’re likely to pay even more money “the second time”.
So what’s the bottom line? At the end of the day, you should find a mechanic that you trust. Not everyone is out to get you, and when you find a repair facility that takes care of you, you’ll know. They’ll proceed with the greatest of transparency, they’ll offer you options for service, they’ll tell you upfront what costs and steps are involved in the necessary process to get you back on the road.