When you first notice that the engine of your vehicle isn't running as smoothly as it should, it's beneficial to take action quickly before the problem worsens. Avoid using your vehicle as much as possible and begin the process of evaluating the auto shops in your community that you might consider visiting for the repair work. Narrow your choices to a few leading candidates for engine repair and call each to describe the apparent problem with your vehicle, determine the likely repairs that are needed and, of course, get a rough estimate. Before you make your decision about which shop to choose, be sure to bring up these three topics.
Although you shouldn't expect to receive a full diagnosis of your engine issue until you've dropped off the vehicle at the auto shop and a qualified mechanic has had a chance to inspect it, it's helpful to ask about any possible complications that could arise as a result of the issue. For example, if the symptoms you describe over the phone indicate that your serpentine belt has broken off, the repair job is relatively minor -- however, any mechanic will know that running a vehicle for an extended period of time without this belt puts the motor at risk of overheating, which can lead to myriad issues. Hearing about any such complications related to your case, and knowing how they'll impact the cost estimate, will help you pick a qualified shop.
Choice Of Auto Parts
One way to keep the cost of the engine repair as close to your budget as possible is to ask the shop staff to use used or refurbished parts during the repair job. Although new parts will be necessary for much of the job, used or refurbished parts can be structurally sound and drastically reduce the cost of the job. Ask if the shop is open to using used parts, where possible, and consulting with you about when the parts should be new versus used.
Depending on the nature of your engine issue, it can be beneficial to talk to the auto shop rep about how you might be able to avoid dealing with a similar problem in the future. Many automotive issues are at least partly preventable, and getting this insight from the shop shows that it's interested in helping you. In many cases, a quick tutorial on checking your fluid levels and understanding the importance of regular maintenance appointments can help you avoid future complications.