Auto Repair Service Tips - Form A Relationship With Your Service Department
Auto repair service at some dealerships can be a stressful experience. Becoming familiar with the inner-workings of your dealership's auto service center, as well as the expectations they will likely have in working with you, may make the experience smoother and more efficient from a time perspective for both you and them.
The unfortunate reality is that unforeseen problems can sometimes come up during the service process to fix your car. And that is why having a good working relationship with the service advisor who coordinates your dealership's auto repair service is essential for you. Good communication between the dealership and you (and vice versa) can sometimes be critical for success.
This article shares some helpful insights covering everything from scheduling appointments to the time you pick up your vehicle following service completion.
Auto Repair Service Tips - #1: Scheduling AppointmentsThe first step in getting your vehicle ready for your dealership's auto service center is to schedule an appointment. Their auto service center typically schedules appointments in relation to other customers who have already been scheduled. While making an appointment with the service center, and agreeing on a time and date is one thing, it is also important to keep in mind that the completion time for your vehicle may depend on testing and diagnostics, availability of parts, or other factors.
Granted, all of this may seem like fundamental first steps in auto repair service. However, there are a number of times when a customer may just "walk-in" and expect immediate service. There are certainly times when "walk-in" customers can be added into the schedule without issue. This is not normally the case. Customers who have made an appointment with the dealer's service center ahead of time will always take precedence over people who don't. Therefore, scheduling an appointment in advance is always a best practice and helps ensure that the dealership has enough technicians working in the auto service center to efficiently complete the workload.
Auto Repair Service Tips - #2: Service PrioritizationMany dealerships work hard to effectively and efficiently prioritize appointments based on when an appointment was made as well as other factors. For example, priority may be given to a vehicle whose owner is waiting in-person at the dealership for the work to be completed.
And, it is always helpful to let your service advisor know if any routine maintenance items should be taken care of as part of your appointment. The service advisor can then ensure the routine items are expedited by having ample technicians available.
Auto Repair Service Tips - #3: Cost EstimatesYour dealership's auto service center will likely be able to provide you with an estimate for repairs if just routine maintenance is being performed. However, if there are issues requiring troubleshooting, the dealership's service advisor will typically provide you with a cost estimate to diagnose the problem. And after a diagnosis has been made, the auto repair service advisor at the dealership can then give you a more accurate estimate of the cost for repairs including parts and labor.
While diagnosing a vehicle takes time, this step is required to properly repair your vehicle. It is a common practice that an auto service center charge customers for the time to troubleshoot problem(s).
Auto Repair Service Tips - #4: Availability of PartsDetermining the time of repair completion can sometimes be challenging since there can be many variables involved. If it is just routine service, your service advisor should be able to give you an approximate time frame to expect. If the repairs are more involved like anything to do with the engine or transmission, there can be unforeseen issues that arise during the repairs. Availability of parts can also be a factor that extends the timing of service. If the dealership does not have a part in stock, then the part may have to be sourced from alternative suppliers.
In summary, making an appointment is the first step you should take to ensure a time and date suitable for you and your dealer's auto service center. If your vehicle is in need of more than just routine maintenance, expect a diagnostic fee in addition to the estimate for the actual service / repair cost. And finally, while your service advisor provides you with a estimated time of completion of the repairs, treat it as just that -- an estimate. There are many factors that can affect the estimated time and - or completion of auto repair service work.