Today's cars, light trucks, and sport-utility vehicles are high-tech marvels with digital dashboards, oxygen sensors, electronic computers, unibody construction, and more. They run better, longer, and more efficiently than models of years past.
But when it comes to repairs, some things stay the same. The following tips should help you along the way:
Do your homework before taking your vehicle in for repairs or service.
- Read the owner's manual to learn about the vehicle's systems and components.
- Follow the recommended service schedules.
- Keep a log of all repairs and service.
When you think about it, you know your car better than anyone else. You drive it every day and know how it feels and sounds when everything is right. So don't ignore its warning signals.
Use all of your senses to inspect your car frequently. Check for:
- Unusual sounds, odors, drips, leaks, smoke, warning lights, gauge readings.
- Changes in acceleration, engine performance, gas mileage, fluid levels.
- Worn tires, belts, hoses.
- Problems in handling, braking, steering, vibrations.
- Note when the problem occurs.
- Is it constant or periodic?
- When the vehicle is cold or after the engine has warmed up?
- At all speeds? Only under acceleration? During braking? When shifting?
- When did the problem first start?
Once you are at our location, communicate your findings.
- Be prepared to describe the symptoms.
- Carry a written list of the symptoms that you can give us.
- Resist the temptation to suggest a specific course of repair. Just as you would with your physician, tell us where it hurts and how long it's been that way, but let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.
Stay involved. . . Ask questions.
- Ask as many questions as needed to fully understand your repair. Ask for laymen terms if needed.
- Don't rush the technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. You may ask to be called and apprised of the problem, course of action, and costs before work begins.
- Before you leave, be sure you understand all shop policies regarding labor rates, guarantees, and acceptable methods of payment.
- Leave a telephone number where you can be called.
Car Warranty Scams Questions and Answers
Q: Is there a car warranty scam?A: Yes, there are car warranty scams that try to take advantage of unsuspecting vehicle owners. You may have received calls from scammers that start with automated or pre-recorded prompts to enter basic information and stay on the line. Once the call begins, the scammer pretends to be an auto manufacturer or insurer telling you that your auto warranty or car insurance is about to expire. Then they ask you to provide personal information, which will later be used to defraud you. Sometimes the caller will have actual information about your automobile.
Q: What do I do if I fell for a car warranty scam?A: There is no way to get your personal information or money back, but you can reach out to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a complaint. You can contest any charges to your bank card through your bank. Consider using a credit monitoring service.
Q: Who is behind the auto warranty scam calls?A: Regulators allege the fake auto warranty calls, which scam customers out of financial and personal information, originate from a ring run by Roy Cox Jr., Aaron Michael Jones and Sumco Panama companies.
Q: How do you check if your car warranty or vehicle insurance has really expired?A: If you are afraid your warranty or insurance may have really expired: first hang up with the potential scammer. Next, call your car dealer or insurer and inquire about your policy.
Iowa City, IA
Stephen Vlastos, 09/22/2020
Pat and Dave are the auto mechanics everyone wants: In addition to being great guys, they tell you exactly what the issues are, how much repairs would cost, whether the repair is necessary or something a driver can live with, and whether it's worth making repairs at all. I've been taking all our vehicles to them for 10 years and have always been satisfied. The location is also convenient if one works at the University of Downtown Iowa City, as it is a leisurely 15 minute walk away.