I know a lot of people who like to work on their own cars. It saves them a ton of money and it's impressive when something doesn't seem right and they know what it is. Nowadays, a large chunk of the cars out there are run by computer and it's impossible to do it yourself, so you have to take it to a garage. Here are a few ways to get good service from your mechanic. 

When you call for service or take your car in, try and be as specific as you can about the problem you're having. I used to work at a car repair business and a lot of customers weren't very descriptive when they brought their vehicles in.

Rattle, Rattle, Thunder, Clatter, Boom, Boom, Boom

When you say "It doesn't sound right", where is the funny sound coming from? What does it sound like? What were you doing prior to the car making the funny sound? How does the car handle? Did something not smell right? When was your car last in for service? What was the problem and the fix?


When you take your car in, make sure it's clean. Take all the junk out of the front passenger foot well, remove the car seats, toys and sporting equipment from the trunk. Having heavy things in your car can make it handle differently and when you take your car in, the mechanic is just going to have to remove all that stuff anyway, so be nice and take it out yourself or have someone help you. Your car being clean is also easier to work on. I had a friend that didn't know his car battery was under the back seat. The mechanic had to take some stuff out of the back seat to get at it and that takes time. I was always told by the mechanics where I worked, "Remember, it's not the parts that are expensive. It's the labor charge that will get you." If it takes them a long time to clean out the car so they can get to the problem, you're going to have to pay up.

Get Outta There

When you take your car in for service, a lot of times, they may give you a loaner car so you can still do errands, or they may have a courtesy shuttle that will drive you to the mall or take you back to work. When you leave the garage, make sure you're reachable. That was another thing that drove the mechanics nuts -- not being able to call the customer. Give them your cell phone, home phone, desk phone or another way to get a hold of you so they can call with an estimate, call to tell you what's wrong, or call you to tell you that your car is all fixed. Whatever you do, don't stand around asking questions or be a general nuisance.