7 Questions to Ask Your Automotive Service Advisor

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—to the point that you can get away with not knowing everything about how your vehicle operates.

However, cars have also gotten more complex with computerized and electrical parts; even if you consider yourself a gear head, it can be tough 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 may be hesitant to ask questions that might make them look silly or uninformed. Put those worries to rest with Kennedy. 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.

Discover seven questions we think you should ask your specific Minnesota automotive service advisor when bringing your vehicle in for repairs or maintenance.

1. Have you worked on this make and model of car before?

Kennedy Transmission has worked on all types of cars and trucks in Minnesota since 1962, meaning we’re most likely familiar with your make and model. 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 they’ve had experience with vehicles like yours.

2. 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 performing a thorough inspection. Make sure you know what services are done as courtesies and which ones include fees. You should also consider requesting that information in a written document.

3. Do you provide written estimates?

Be sure to ask for and keep a detailed written invoice for all the work that’s done on your vehicle. These records will help you keep track of service and warranties and document the good care your vehicle has received when the time comes to sell it.

4. Can you explain to me what repairs are needed and why?

This might seem like a silly question to ask, and most customers would prefer to skip the embarrassment. Regardless, 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 in the future.

5. Can you contact me about any unexpected expenses or discoveries during repair?

Contacting customers about unexpected expenses and discoveries should be an industry standard. Unfortunately, unlike Kennedy Transmission, many shops will take a customer’s lack of questions as permission to fix problems without consulting them first.

Situations such as this emphasize the importance of having an in-depth conversation with your service advisor before any work is done and receiving an invoice in writing.

6. Will I be able to choose which parts are used for the repair?

You may assume the only option for car repair is to buy the newest, high-quality parts. That’s not always the case, however. 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 to help you make an informed decision.

7. When will the repairs be done?

Auto repair shops can get busy, especially when gearing up for winter in Minnesota and North Dakota. During busy seasons, 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.

Find the Answers to Your Questions with Kennedy Transmission

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. Have some budget concerns regarding our recommended repairs or maintenance? Talk to your Kennedy Transmission service advisor about the reasoning behind their recommendations.

Our team can tell you what vehicle issues need to be taken care of immediately for safety or financial reasons. 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 Kennedy Brake and Auto Service shop location near you to schedule your next appointment today.

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