You might be eating out at a swank restaurant and shop at the best malls but to save costs do not take your car to a franchised workshop. If the workshop you take your car to isn’t an authorized centre atleast ensure that the staff there is well versed with your car and has the equipment in place to service your car. Remember all garages cannot handle all types of cars. Also check if the place has minimal infrastructure and resources to deal with your car. If it outsources some work then your car will naturally take longer to service.
Be honest with the garage and tell then of any problems that have recently occurred on the car and any work that was carried out to solve these. Also, if it’s just a routine service then ask them to show you the service schedule for your type of vehicle. Get an estimated quote from the workshop and a breakdown for labour, spares and taxes. Get the bodywork checked before handing over the car as this will save disputes if any new scratches appear.
When giving in your car tell the workshop to do only the work that has been specified by you. Make it very clear that your clearance will be needed for any additional work incase it comes up without which you will not be paying them. Also in case the quote that the workshop has given you seems a bit overstretched then its best advised to double check the prices with another workshop. Also, tell the workshop that someone has recommended them so they must be half decent. Secondly if you tell the mechanic that you were referenced to them by a person, they will be less likely to try and rip you off because they do want to harm their reputation with existing customers.
When giving in your car ask the workshop to retain all the replaced parts for your inspection. It’s all your property mind you. This will reduce any chances of the workshop playing foul and replacing parts that could have easily been repaired otherwise. Given the high incidences of unnecessary replacements check for wear or damage on old parts. If you think that some of them could have still been used then tell that to the senior workshop management and demand a satisfactory answer. Never give a workshop that has fleeced you a second chance.
Make sure that you leave the workshop premises after getting a copy of the bill with the full details of the work that has been carried out on your vehicle. If you use the original service book then make sure that you get it marked at the workshop. Keeping all the bills over the years helps to resell the car at a good price as it shows that you have cared for the vehicle. Even if a small fault has been repaired make sure you keep its bill with you.