the Scare Out of Auto Repair
Part 2 of 4 - Ignoring
maintenance can lead to trouble
What are the consequences of postponing maintenance?
maintenance guidelines should I follow to avoid
parts on your vehicle are interrelated. Ignoring
maintenance can lead to trouble: specific parts
- or an entire system - can fail. Neglecting
even simple routine maintenance, such as changing
the oil or checking the coolant, can lead to
poor fuel economy, unreliability, or costly
breakdowns. It also may invalidate your warranty.
Your Auto Repair Investment
the manufacturer's maintenance schedule in your
owner's manual for your type of driving.
repair shops create their own maintenance schedules,
which call for more frequent servicing than
the manufacturer's recommendations. Compare
shop maintenance schedules with those recommended
in your owner's manual. Ask the repair shop
to explain - and make sure you understand -
why it recommends service beyond the recommended
What warranties and service contracts apply
to vehicle repairs?Warranties
is no "standard warranty" on repairs.
Make sure you understand what is covered under
your warranty and get it in writing.
aware that warranties may be subject to limitations,
including time, mileage, deductibles, businesses
authorized to perform warranty work or special
procedures required to obtain reimbursement.
with the Federal Trade Commission or your state
or local consumer protection agency for information
about your warranty rights.
do I resolve a dispute regarding billing, quality
of repairs or warranties?
- Many vehicle dealers and others sell optional
contracts - service contracts -issued by vehicle
manufacturers or independent companies. Not
all service contracts are the same; prices vary
and usually are negotiable. To help decide whether
to purchase a service contract, consider:
repairs to be covered.
coverage overlaps coverage provided by any
the repairs are to be performed.
required to file a claim, such as prior
authorization for specific repairs or meeting
required vehicle maintenance schedules.
repair costs are paid directly by the company
to the repair shop or whether you will have
to pay first and get reimbursed.
reputation of the service contract company.
Check it out with your state Attorney General's
office or local consumer protection agency.
all transactions as well as your experiences
with dates, times, expenses, and the names of
people you dealt with.
to the shop manager or owner first. If that
doesn't work, contact your Attorney General
or local consumer protection agency for help.
These offices may have information on alternative
dispute resolution programs in your community.
Another option is to file a claim in small claims
court. You don't need an attorney to do this.
by the Federal Trade Commission, the National
Association of Attorneys General and the American