Car repairs, whether expected or not, can be very stressful. As you know we have a full team of experts at Perkins Motors that can assist with any and all car repairs. However, what if your car breaks down when you are on a road trip? What if you move and don’t have a trusted mechanic such as Perkins? How do you ensure you're getting great service and the right parts if you suddenly decide to use an independent mechanic? We have some tips for you! After doing research and asking our regional BBB offices, we came up with this list below.
Before you need a repair, it is good to research options so you can reduce the unknowns before a drive out of the city or state!
- The BBB's Auto Resource Center is a great place to start when looking for trusted auto mechanics, body shops or auto dealerships in other towns. Here is the website to The BBB of Southern Colorado: http://www.bbb.org/southern-colorado which is a great start for your research.
- Ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations now rather than when you need it most. Perhaps make a call of this nature to the friend you are visiting out of town, beforehand, just to get ahead of any potential issues!
- Auto repair shops that maintain current automotive industry certifications provide evidence that staying on top of current repair standards is important to them. Use mechanics that ONLY tout this.
- Also, it is always wise, if you have any concerns with your vehicle, to give our team a call before you hit the road. Here is the phone number to our service department at Perkins Motors: Service 855-832-5133
During your trip outside of Colorado Springs, or in your new hometown:
- Write down all issues with your car and your expectations to repair. The service manager is generally not the one repairing your car. Having a written explanation of your problems can avoid unnecessary repairs. Even if you have to write “Makes a noise that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard”; trust us, this kind of description will help mechanics get to the core of your issue!
- Always always always ask for a written estimate, before performing any repair(s), identifying the cost of labor and all materials, including all warranties. Especially if you are traveling. The BBB mentioned that out of town cars that need a repair can be seen by some mechanics as an opportunity to up charge. Make sure you know what you are paying for and for how much UP FRONT. Beware of unexpected 'overcharging': add-on repairs that you didn't need or authorize, phantom repairs that never happened, or charging for repairs covered under warranty. This happens, we hear about it all the time with new customers that come to our service department for a trusted estimate and repairs.
After your car comes off the mechanic’s floor:
- Have the mechanic review all repairs with you. Down to the last detail. If they worked on your car, it should be very easy for them to describe the work down to the smallest item.
- Pay by credit card or debit card so if the repair didn't fix the problem, you may have the ability to track the expense.
- If your car is experiencing an issue that you think could be a result of a failure covered under the manufacturer's warranty or a vehicle recall program, contact Perkins Motors to understand full potential recalls available under Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Taking a road trip where sadly your car breaks down or finding a new mechanic when you move can be stressful. We know, as Perkins Motors has helped many people over the years in this situation. Be your own best advocate for your car’s health. If you have an issue here in Colorado Springs with your car, just call us and we will be there for you – however, if you find yourself in a sticky situation, we hope these tips can help you get on the right path. Have a great winter and may your car remain safe and your trusted ally for that perfect drive outside of our beautiful city.
- Crystal Johnston, Director of Marketing