Dropping your vehicle off at the service department

February 19, 2009

This is the third in a series of blog posts that our Honda expert, Robert Isbell, is writing for RepairPal. Robert has worked at Honda dealerships for over 22 years as a technician, shop foreman and service manager. He has developed and led new owner clinics that educate new owners about their cars and he will be contributing to  our blog to educate our visitors about the methods for getting the most out of your service experience.

Missed the preceding post? Click here.




                       Dropping your vehicle off at the service department

Depending upon how busy the service department is, you may have a line in front of you when you go to drop your car off. Unfortunately it’s not like a doctor’s office where you have your appointment set and they only see you at that time. The service drive can be full of customers that have no appointment and are dropping their car off. Make sure that you allow for this type of issue before you bring the vehicle in. Our service department makes appointments and also accepts non appointment cars.

In most big shops you will be greeted by a Service Advisor. They’re the person that is the go between you and the technician that works on your car. These are the people that gather all your information (name, address, phone, VIN#, mileage, and work needed) and generate a repair order with your requests for the technician to complete. The Service Advisor is the person that gives you the estimate for the repairs before the car is worked on and the total after it’s done. If there is any more work to be done (upsells) the Writer calls and explains what’s needed and gets an okay before proceeding.

Be prepared to fill out any necessary forms if there are any issues such as air conditioning, noise, or performance/drivability issues. In extreme cases you may even be asked to go for a road test with a technician just to try to get to the root of an problem.  Be prepared before showing up at the shop by using RepairPal’s Diagnostic Assistant Questionnaires.

Once you sign off on the repairs then the repair order goes to a dispatcher to give it to the technicians for maintenance or repair and the car gets moved to a service lot. If you have questions regarding the laws governing auto repair, check with your State’s Consumer Protection Agency.

Next: When your vehicle gets worked on and why it’s done that way.

About the Author

Robert Isbell is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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