Alfisti all have their own reasons for owning an Alfa, and these are as many and varied as the owners themselves, and as an Alfa Mechanic it is very important to recognize that each owner is an expert on their own car.
They drive it all the time and they know if there is something unusual going on if it happens suddenly. However, sometimes things creep up on the owner and it needs a fresh driver to notice the fault.
These days it’s unusual for owners to do their own maintenance as time has become so much more precious, so the first and most important thing most owners need to be aware of is how to explain what is going on with your car and how to get that over to your garage effectively.
The more detailed and concise the explanation the quicker, and therefore the cheaper, it will be repaired. Just coming in and saying “There is a noise” does not help the garage a lot, however “There is a noise coming from the front near side that is speed related” will lead us quickly to the fault as it is likely to be a wheel bearing, drive shaft or drive train related on the front passenger side.
It can be advisable to take a mechanic out to show them what you mean as then there is no room for error.
Be clear about what you want done
The next important thing to do when you visit a mechanic is give them a list of what you want done. Again, make it simple and concise and put a contact number that the mechanic or service manager can contact you easily and quickly, with a note saying that you require a call before further work is carried out. This is vital as costs can quickly escalate.
If the garage does call you there are two questions to ask. The first is “why does it need it” and the second is “how long will it last if I leave it”. From those two questions you will very quickly get a feel for how your mechanic is treating you.
If you get a less than frank response it is probably not worth having the necessary work done at that garage, take the car away and try somewhere else. It is also advisable to be wary of mechanics who make things sound over complicated. Everything on a motor vehicle is explainable in layman’s terms. Once you have established what the fault is and if it needs to be done MAKE SURE YOU GET A PRICE INCLUDING PARTS. If you feel uncertain get it emailed to you.
Remember the most effective way of getting your needs met is being clear and concise in explaining what you want done.