At Kennedy Transmission Brake and Auto Service, we know the process of bringing your vehicle in for routine maintenance or repairs can be stressful. Over the years, cars have become much more reliable, and nowadays you can get away with not knowing everything about how your vehicle operates. However, cars have also gotten more complex, and even if you consider yourself a gearhead, it can be difficult to have the right tools or equipment to handle things yourself.
We understand that our customers have different levels of knowledge when it comes to their vehicles, and sometimes they’re afraid to ask questions because it will make them look silly or signal lesser auto technicians to take advantage of them. Which is why we strive to be as transparent as possible when it comes to our methods and encourage our customers to be vocal about their concerns and expectations. Often, the first conversation you have with your local service advisor will dictate how quickly and successfully they can get you back out on the road.
With this in mind, here are some questions we think you should ask your specific Minnesota Service Advisor when bringing your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance.
Have you worked on this make and model of car before?
Kennedy Transmission has worked on all types of cars and trucks in Minnesota and North Dakota since 1962, so most of the time we know what we’re getting into. However, this is still a good question to ask your mechanic up-front. Some shops only work on specific makes and models, and it’s important to know whether or not they’ve had experience with vehicles like yours. When it comes to automotive repair, experience is key.
Do you charge for estimates?
This will obviously depend on the nature of your visit, but in general, there’s a big difference between giving your car a quick once over and doing a thorough inspection. Make sure you know what’s done as a courtesy and what has a fee. It’s a good idea to get this sort of thing in writing.
Do you provide written estimates?
Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed written invoice of all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service, warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.
Can you explain to me what repairs are needed and why?
Again, this might seem like a silly question to ask, and most customers would prefer to skip the embarrassment. But it’s important that your service advisor can explain to you, plainly, what needs to be done to fix or service your vehicle. If they know what they’re doing, they should have no problem filling you in. Plus, the more information you have, the more informed questions you can ask later.
Can you contact me about any unexpected expenses or discoveries during repair?
This should be an industry standard, but you’d be surprised at the number of shops – unlike Kennedy Transmission – who will take a customer’s lack of questions as permission to fix the problem, and any others they might find, without consulting them first. This is why it’s important to have a clear conversation with your service advisor before any work is done, and to get an invoice in writing.
Will I be able to choose which parts are used for the repair?
Most people think that their only option when it comes to repairs is the newest, high quality parts, but that’s not always true. Speak with your service advisor to see if they might have options for which parts to use. If the repair is necessary, but money is tight, you might be able to substitute a rebuilt part or a used part. Your technician should be able to tell you the differences between them so you can make an informed decision.
When will the repairs be done?
Shops can get busy, especially when gearing up for the winter season in Minnesota and North Dakota, and it can be tough for even the most dedicated auto technicians to stay on top of all the work. But a good shop will be able to give you a decent timeline for when you can expect your vehicle to be ready for pickup. If any issues arise with this agreed-upon timeline, have the shop call you to reschedule.
You Have Questions – Kennedy Transmission Has Answers
When it comes to you and your local service advisor, communication is a two-way street. Asking the right questions now will save you both a lot of grief in the long run. And if you have some budget concerns when it comes to recommended repairs and/or maintenance, ask your Kennedy Transmission service advisor what they can do. Often, they can tell you what needs to be taken care of right away for safety or financial reasons, and you can work out a plan for when to take care of everything else. With Kennedy Transmission Brake and Auto Service, all you have to do is ask! Find a location near you to schedule your next appointment.