It’s the time of year when cars won’t start, heaters don’t work, or you slide on the ice and your car has body damage. It will help you to get good repairs if you educate yourself.
- Do some comparison shopping. Find a shop that has a good track record. Read online reviews, and ask friends for recommendations. If you need auto body repair, look at completed paint jobs coming out of the shop and see if the shop looks reasonably clean – a dusty shop equals a dusty paint job. Make sure they offer at least a one-year warranty on parts and labor. Your first line of defense is finding a quality repair facility. Rely on your instincts – if the people seem shady, don’t go there.
- Get several estimates, and read each estimate carefully to see if all of them list the same repairs and if you think they cover everything that’s needed. If they are different, ask the shop(s) to explain. If they can’t or won’t do that, go elsewhere. Remember that going with the lowball estimate can result in a lowball job.
- If possible, remove valuables from the car before you leave it at a shop or have it towed.
- Give the shop a list of anything special in or on the car, such as alloy wheels, racing mirrors, upgraded stereo, or aftermarket products, such as remote starters. Make sure that any special equipment is still in or on the car when the work is completed.
- Finally, when you go to pick up the car, check it as carefully as possible to be sure that all repairs listed were actually made, and look for problems before you sign off on the insurance check or make final payment – it’s a lot easier to get action if the shop still needs to get paid.
- If there is a problem, ask the shop to correct it. Most shops will do so promptly, as they want satisfied customers. If they won’t fix what’s wrong, maybe it’s a good time to try mediation.
JCMS offers FREE mediation to Jefferson County citizens and businesses. Mediation is a good way to discuss a dispute reasonably, with a neutral third party (a mediator) to facilitate the conversation. The mediators won’t tell you what to do, give legal advice, or say who is right or wrong, but they are trained to help people with disagreements to work together to find a resolution, instead of having a shouting match. You won’t lose any legal rights – if you can’t come to an agreement in mediation, you can still take your case to court. For more information on mediation, go to our website at www.JeffcoMediation.com, or call us at 303.271.5060. Para Espanol, 720-577-5826.