The Best Ways to Get an Accurate Car Repair Quote

Michael J. O'Connor
June 1, 2023

Getting your car repaired by an honest, communicative mechanic can be an absolute joy. Finding the right shop to work on your vehicle will make all the difference when it comes to your experience when something goes wrong with it. Part of what makes a shop desirable is whether or not they give you an accurate car repair quote. This is the first step in the process and you should feel confident that the price you are being quoted is correct. 

It can be hard to know if you are getting an accurate estimate at the shop, especially if you don’t have experience with auto repair. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do that will help you get the most accurate car repair quote possible. Knowing how to navigate this part of the repair process can end up saving you a lot of money and help you feel more comfortable whenever you have to head to the shop. An accurate car repair quote will give you peace of mind that you aren’t overpaying and that the mechanic has your best interest at heart. 

Don’t Just Go By the Code 

Most modern cars are equipped with an onboard diagnostics software package that assists mechanics in diagnosing an issue. This system, which is commonly called the OBD2, will scan the car’s sensors and dispense a code that helps determine what the problem is. For example, if your engine is running rough, a mechanic can scan the OBD2 and it might produce a P2178 code. This means that the system is running too rich at idle and it will give the mechanic a great starting point for accurately diagnosing the issue. 

The problem with the OBD2 code is that it is not a good way to get an accurate car repair quote. It can be incredibly helpful but it won’t give the mechanic the full story about what is actually going on. If a shop gives you an estimate based solely on the code, this is a sign that they are not giving you an accurate car repair quote. They will have to run more tests and investigate the issue further before they can give you a quote that you can rely on. 

Avoid Quotes Over the Phone 

In a time when convenience is becoming more important than ever, it may seem like getting a quote for your repair over the phone is a great time saver. Some shops will be happy to give you an estimate based on your description of the problem over the phone and it can be tempting to go with the one that gives you the lowest price. However, verbal estimates are never going to be as accurate as they should be. Plus, it is almost impossible to properly diagnose an issue with a car over the phone. 

If you want to get an accurate car repair quote, the shop will have to do their due diligence. This means running tests with diagnostic equipment and visual inspections. This simply can’t be done over the phone, so it is important to be wary of any shop that does it. If you want an accurate car repair quote, the mechanic will have to spend a significant amount of time with the car before they can do it. 

Don’t Wait

Some car problems aren’t as serious as others and they may not affect the daily operation of the vehicle. That being said, it doesn’t mean that these issues can’t eventually turn into bigger problems. If you have gotten a quote from a shop but decided that the issue wasn’t worth fixing until it became more serious, that quote may not be accurate anymore. Moving quickly and getting the proper repairs done will almost always be cheaper in the long run. 

If your engine is making a noise that you don’t recognize, having a reputable mechanic look at it and then fix it as soon as possible will always be your best bet. This way, you can be sure that the car repair quote you get is up-to-date with the problem your car has at that moment. Car problems tend to have a domino effect and waiting to get one problem fixed can cause other, more expensive problems. Waiting to have the repair done will end up costing more money and this might not be reflected in your original estimate. 

Get the Quote in Writing

Sometimes, depending on the shop, a mechanic will look at your vehicle and give you a tentative quote right then and there. While this is a convenient way to decide if the repair will be affordable, it may not be your best option. If you want to protect yourself from overcharging and surprise fees, it is always best to get your car repair quote in writing. 

When you get your car repair quote in writing, it should include a complete breakdown of what the mechanic is going to do. This includes prices for parts and labor as well as any service fees that might come with the particular repair. Having this document will help protect you and give you something to refer back to when the work is done and the final charges are added up. 

Do Your Research

The best thing you can do for yourself if you want to get an accurate car repair quote is to do a lot of research. Having a good idea of the cost of parts and labor for a specific issue can help you navigate the process of choosing a shop. Having a price range in mind that you know is fair can go a long way toward getting an accurate car repair quote. 

While doing research, it is important to note that the prices you see online will not always apply to your car. Things like the car’s model year, the city you live in, and the specific shop can all change the car repair quote that you get. However, research is still a great way to go into the process with a little bit of knowledge on your side so you can feel like you have some agency during your car repair. 

Get an Accurate Car Repair Quote and Top-Notch Service

Getting an accurate car repair quote can be difficult if you don’t know what to look out for and what the pitfalls are. By knowing what you can expect and some of the things you can do to help yourself along, you can get an estimate that is both fair and clear-cut. Working with a reputable shop and arming yourself with the right knowledge will give you the confidence you need when getting your vehicle fixed. 

If you need help finding a great shop that will give you a fair quote, ServiceUp is here for you. With one easy-to-use dashboard to help you manage your maintenance, collision, and mechanical repair needs, it has never been easier to get your vehicle fixed by qualified, experienced technicians. Whether you need simple oil changes or major body work, ServiceUp will take care of everything and get you back on the road. Get an estimate today to find out how ServiceUp can help!

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