1. Bring your doggo!
Courtesy of “GoodIdeaAtTheTime” this one I can also attest to. As he so rightly pointed out in the comment section of Part 1, you will absolutely see grown men turn into little kids around a pooch. You’ll also bring a lot of happiness to the service advisors. Now as the internet is a living caveat I’ll put this in here. Check with your service shop to see if they’re dog friendly. Also some people are terrible and do not like dogs. These are not the people I’m talking about, nor do they matter. Ignore them.
2. Bring your honesty
So you know when you tried to scare the birds away and ended up crashing into a curb at about 20mph?
Well if you come in and think that we’ll quote you less money and find fewer problems if you tell us you hit a large pothole while taking your aging great great great grandma to the hospital… that’s only half right. The average tech can tell very quickly when something sideways has happened to your car. You see, damage leaves real scars. If you’re dishonest about what happened it will absolutely make it harder for us to help you get it fixed right. We are all human and may actually miss a problem with a part of your car because you didn’t just own what happened. I don’t need to know about the birds. I just need to know you hit the curb going 20 mph.
3. Bring your parts to save all the bucks.
Now this won’t work at some shops so I encourage you to find one that will do it but when possible bring your own parts. You’ll need to be sure of what you need so a good diagnosis is important whether that be by you, a trusted friend or a shop. Once you know what you need finding it online can be a little hard for some but here’s one way you can be sure. Many parts websites will allow you to input your license or VIN and bring up ONLY parts that will fit your car. That’s step one. Something else to consider is that when you bring your parts to most shops, there is no warranty on the work because they didn’t sell you the part. Good shops don’t mind that because should it need to return you’re paying again. However, good parts + good shops more often than not = happy customers. You can literally cut the middleman out and save a lot here.
4. Bring your car to the right places for free stuff!
You know how a lot of auto parts stores will advertise free battery testing, windshield wiper installation and check engine light testing? That’s because they know that most service shops charge for that stuff. There are a ton of great little services you can absolutely get for free if you go to the right place. Need your tires rotated or topped off with air? Look for a good shop that will do that after you buy your tires from them, or complementary with each oil change. Many tire shops will also fix repairable flat tires for free. Look at all that money you just saved. Now use some of it for tip 5.
5. Bring a tip!
Now this is one way to help your odds that a tech or a shop is going to take extra good care for you. Have a little faith, a little trust and tip them before they start. You also don’t want to go with cold hard cash. That can something they’re not allowed to accept at their shop. You want to go for their stomach. Leave a box of donuts, a six pack of widely accepted beer, or a gift card in the car for the tech with a note saying thanks for their hard work. You can also write about what is wrong and help to give them as much info as possible to make their job easier. I cannot tell you how valuable these things can be to the guys doing the hard work on your car. Remember, they have to work on it whether they want to or not. Techs do not get enough appreciation, especially the ones that do major work on your vehicle so showing them that you trust them enough to do something nice for them before they even start is a major way to win points and get extra special attention and attentiveness.