As a resident of Fairfax, you rely on the vehicle you drive. You need your car, truck or SUV to get you where you are going, whether you are running errands, shuttling the kids back and forth to practice or getting yourself to and from work. That need for reliable transportation makes quality maintenance essential, and building a relationship with a quality mechanic very important.
Simply having that mechanic/client relationship is not enough, however. If you want to get the most out of your next visit, you need to keep the lines of communication open and gather the right information. Here are five things to ask your mechanic the next time you stop by.
#1. Should I Schedule Service or Just Stop By?
Some simple forms of service, like topping off the fluids or changing the oil, can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Other forms of service, like diagnosing a fluid leak or checking the transmission, are much more time consuming.
Knowing which type of service you need is important, so ask the mechanic if you need to schedule an appointment or if you should just stop by. After awhile, you will get a feel for what type of service you need, so you can budget your time more effectively.
#2. How Long Will This Service Take?
This second question is related to the first, but it is also distinct. Once you know what type of service you need, it is time to ask how long that service is expected to take.
If the service you have scheduled will take only a short time, you can probably wait for your vehicle. If the service is expected to take hours, it is better to get a ride to the service center and get on with the rest of your day.
#3. What Should I Check Between Visits?
Your mechanic provides a valuable service, one that can keep your vehicle on the road longer, but but there is no substitute for a vigilant driver. You drive your car every day, and you know when something just does not seem right.
Be sure to ask your mechanic what you should be looking for between visits, and pay close attention to the answers. From checking the fluid levels and topping off the oil to putting air in the tires and changing the wiper blades, there are things you can do to make your daily commute safer and easier.
#4. When Am I Due for My Next Scheduled Maintenance?
If you want your vehicle to last, you need to take good care of it, and that starts with the right maintenance. Ask your mechanic when your vehicle is due for its next scheduled maintenance, and what type of service is needed.
You need to change the oil at the recommended intervals, typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You should also be rotating the tires at every other oil change, so ask your mechanic for recommendations.
#5. What Can I Do to Improve My Fuel Economy?
Last but not least, be sure to ask your mechanic what you can do to improve your fuel economy. Every extra mile you squeeze out of a tank of gas is more money in your pocket, and your mechanic can make expert recommendations.
There are simple things you can do to improve your fuel economy, so you can spend less on gas and enjoy the road ahead more. But it all starts with a good mechanic – and asking the right questions.