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Notes From The Road

Parts and Labor
By Mike Bumbeck/

Writing Up Service
The first person the customer comes into contact with at the dealer or shop is known as the service writer. If a customer has an air conditioner that blows hot, or a radiator that doesn't cool, the service writer is the first person to hear about it. The service writer then communicates to the service department what the problem is. A good service writer can listen to the needs of the customer and communicate these needs to the mechanics. With the sheer number of different problems that can occur with an automobile, the service writer has a tough job. The customer—being able to clearly communicate with the service writer what the automotive problem is—takes the first step in getting the repair completed to satisfaction. When talking to the service writer about an automobile repair, try to communicate as clearly as possible what the problem is.

Beware Repair
If a breakdown of communication begins even before the job starts, the best path to take is another. Seeking a second opinion is common with medical issues and is also a good path to satisfactory automobile repair. Trust is built on communication. If the service writer or mechanic cannot clearly communicate what the solution to your automobile problems may be—then move on until you find someone that can. Even with the good majority of service writers, mechanics and repair shops doing honest work, there will always be a few shops out there attempting to cash in on unnecessary repairs. The way to avoid these shops is to stick to only the scheduled maintenance outlined by the people that manufactured the automobile. Steer clear of snake oil and miracle cures promising everlasting engines or untold improvements in mileage and performance.

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