If you don't know anything about cars, heading to an auto repair shop can feel completely overwhelming. Knowing how to communicate what is wrong with your car, understanding what is necessary and what isn't, and having opinions about what needs to be done can be intimidating if you're not deeply familiar with cars. However, going to an auto repair shop can still be a rewarding experience. Here are some ways to feel totally confident talking to a mechanic about your car.
Bring a Friend
A fairly simple solution to this problem is to bring a friend! If you are stressed about having to answer questions or explain issues with your car, talk to a friend that knows more about cars than you. Having a friend who is knowledgeable about cars but still has your best interest at heart can be invaluable when getting repairs. Talk to your friend beforehand to get a general sense of what might be wrong with the car and what some of the solutions could be.
Staying quiet is a natural reaction to being in a stressful environment, but is not particularly helpful when trying to get your car fixed. Don't be afraid to ask the mechanic clarifying questions that help you understand the process better. Ask about the cost of the diagnostic and anything you might be unsure of. If you feel like you're moving forward and agreeing to things before you understand them, ask the mechanic to show you the problem or help you understand it better. Questions like these are totally reasonable when you're expecting an expert to do repairs on your car.
Get an Estimate
Finding a good auto shop can be tough, but a great way to find somewhere you like is to simply ask for estimates. Talk to specific auto shops and get their first thoughts and estimates on the repair. Doing this doesn't commit you to get repairs at the shop and can be a great way to judge the shop and the mechanics before you choose. If someone is particularly helpful when giving you an estimate, they'll be helpful when actually repairing your car.
Take Your Time
If you get an in-depth diagnostic and have a couple of problems, most of the time you will not need to get them fixed immediately. You can still sleep on it, ask others for advice, and talk to other deals. Remember, this is your car and your money you're spending on repairs.
Contact an auto repair shop to learn more.