Ten Tips You Should Know Before
Having Your Car Repaired
1. TAKE YOUR VEHICLE TO LICENSED REPAIR FACILITIES ONLY.
Section 6 of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act (MCL 257.1306) requires businesses performing motor vehicle maintenance, diagnosis, body work or repair service on a motor vehicle for compensation to be registered with the Michigan Department of State. If facility or individual is NOT A LICENSED REPAIR FACILITY, you are probably entitled to a FULL REFUND.
2. REPORT UNLICENSED REPAIR FACILITIES OR MECHANICS – THE STATE OF MICHIGAN IS SUPPOSED TO HELP YOU GET YOUR MONEY REFUNDED. (Note: A licensed mechanic on-line like “Craigslist” does not mean that they are a LICENSED REPAIR FACILITY)
It is a violation of the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act to operate a motor vehicle repair facility or perform a motor vehicle repair without a registration issued by the Michigan Department of State. Information regarding an unlicensed repair facility or uncertified mechanic can be provided anonymously to the Bureau of Regulatory Services by telephone, email, fax or in writing as follows:
Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Regulatory Services, Business Licensing and Regulation Division, Lansing, MI 48918 Phone 1-888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) Fax 1-517-335-2810 E-mail Web Site www.michigan.gov/sos
3. MAKE SURE THAT THE REPAIR FACILITY THAT YOU TAKE YOUR CAR TO IS ABLE TO DO THE REPAIRS.
Some vehicles require specialized equipment and training. Make sure so ask your repair facility if they have the equipment, training and technicians to perform your repairs properly.
4. CHECK WITH CO-WORKERS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHEN TRYING TO FIND A REPAIR FACILITY.
Everyone has to have their car repaired at some point in time. Co-workers, friends and family are usually sources that you can trust when looking for an automotive repair facility. Don’t necessarily listen for “they are cheap” but rather “I got it back on time and it has worked great since”.
5. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH YOUR REPAIR FACILTY – STAY WITH THEM.
Staying with a repair facility allows them to build a history about your car and you. If a problem should arise in the future, they will have all of your information available just like your doctor’s office does.
6. FIND REPAIR FACILITIES THAT ABIDE BY A “CODE OF ETHICS” – LIKE THOSE THAT MEMBERS OF A.S.A. ABIDE BY.
Quality repair facilities hold themselves to a higher standard, usually called a “Code of Ethics”. These facilities usually do not have any pending complaints against them with either the Better Business Bureau or the State of Michigan Bureau of Regulatory Services.
7. DO NOT CHOSE A REPAIR FACILITY BY RANDOM OR BY PRICE ALONE.
It is extremely challenging during tough economic times not to look for the “cheapest repairs”. Unfortunately the old adage “you get what you paid for” really holds merit to some extent. In many cases, usually it is the part quality that becomes compromised because of lower prices. For example, lower priced brake components may take additional distance to bring your vehicle to a stop and are not regulated (they are only regulated during the vehicle manufacturing segment); something you may only find out when it is too late..
8. IF YOU HAVE A DISPUTE WITH YOUR REPAIR FACILITY, TAKE IT UP MANAGEMENT. LEGAL COUNSEL CAN BE EXPENSIVE AND USUALLY HAS SIMILAR OUTCOMES. Today’s vehicles have various sensors and computers that are constantly feeding information to each other. In comparison, there is more “computing” going on while you are driving your car than there was on the Apollo space mission! Occasionally, these sensors and computers might give the technician a wrong ‘code’ which may lead them on the wrong path for diagnostic repair. Again, most ethical and quality repair facilities want to take care of their customers which is why we recommend you to talk with their management team should the need arise.
9. YOU ARE THE ‘CUSTOMER’ OR ‘CONSUMER’ IN ANY TRANSACTION THAT MAY INVOLVE INSURANCE OR WARRANTY COMPANY. In any repair transaction, the “customer” or “consumer” is always the owner or operator of the vehicle, not the insurance company or extended service contract company. This principle applies to certain aspects of an insurance-paid or extended service contract repair. Authorization for diagnosis or repairs may be given only by the customer. Unless the insurance company or service contract company presents to the repair facility signed authorization from the customer to contract for repairs, no work may be started.
10. REPAIR FACILITIES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE YOU A WARRANTY – BUT IF THEY DO, IT MUST BE IN WRITING. A repair facility does not have to guarantee its repairs. But if it does, the warranty must be in writing and must disclose the scope of its warranty, including any limitations or disclaimers that may exist.