What Women "Auto Know" When Taking Their Car Into the Shop

Audra Fordin
February 23, 2011

The thought of taking her car into a mechanic to have a repair or service performed is enough to make any woman nervous. What if she pays too much? What if she doesn't know what exactly is wrong with her car? What if the technician talks down to her and makes her feel stupid? All of the "what ifs" are enough to make her want to put off taking her car in until it's absolutely falling apart, which is never a good idea.

But it doesn't have to be this way. With just a few simple tips, any woman can feel confident and secure when walking into the door and leave knowing she got the best service and will be safe on the road, all for a fair price. The "best price" is not always the "best." Remember, when you get a quote, pull out your cell phone, and use RepairPal's Estimator.

Know Your Car
Look at the owner's manual and become familiar with the personality of your car. Understanding what warning light is on, and what system it runs, automatically gives you an advantage. If you are going to the shop because your battery light is on, the topic of conversation should be about the charging system. If you start talking about motor oil, you know something is wrong.

Trust Yourself and Pay Attention
If you hear a noise, feel a hesitation, smell something, or see something that is not typical for your car, don't doubt it. Trust your senses and pay attention. Women have this thing called intuition—it's real. If you pay close attention, you can determine if the hesitation is when you are merging on the highway or accelerating from a stop sign. If it's a sound, make note of when it occurs—when applying the brake, while sitting at a stop light, or when riding over bumps? All of this will help you help the technician diagnose the problem with your vehicle.

Don't Diagnose—Describe!
Resist the temptation to diagnosis the trouble yourself. People can be swayed by just hearing one word. Try this: Go into a store where there are other customers. Pick up a item a look at it. Hold it for a second, turn it around, and then put it back on the shelf. Now watch and see. Chances are, the person who is next to you will pick up the item once you put it down. It's human nature. By "leading" technicians, you could be putting ideas into their heads, which can throw them off track. Stay on topic when discussing the problem with your car. Give as much information as you can and then let the technicians do their job.

Ask for a Picture

Let technicians know ahead of time that you want to see pictures of everything before and after they do a repair, perform maintenance, or replace a part. This will keep them honest and educate you at the same time.


Audra Fordin

About the Author

Audra Fordin is the owner and operator of Great Bear Auto Repair in Flushing, New York, which specializes in foreign, domestic and hybrid vehicles.

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