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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm


In order to ensure good communication and reduce misunderstandings, there are a few things you should do before you have your car repaired. First, have the repair shop list everything they'll do and how much it will cost. Be sure it's detailed and if you don't understand it, have them explain it. Never sign a blank form or instruct them to 'do whatever it takes', unless it's warranty work. If the cost of the repair increases, have them call you first. Ask for the old parts, too. If you only want a problem investigated, expect to pay a diagnosis fee. When you return for the car, check the receipt. If it's different than you expected, or if you don't understand it, ask them about it. Drive the car to test it out. If the problem is still there, drive back immediately. Remember to keep your receipts, they'll serve as a contract for the work performed, in case any problems arise.

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