(Santa Ana)— Glen Hammonds, chair of Santa Ana College’s (SAC) automotive and diesel technology program, offers the following ten tips to help avoid the car repair blues:
- Make sure the auto repair shop employs ASE-certified technicians. There should be an ASE Blue Seal sign or visit www.ase.com for a facility near you.
- Find out if the mechanic who will repair your car is ASE-certified. This ensures that he/she is a professional who meets minimum industry standards. Once you’ve identified a mechanic that you are comfortable with, stick with him/her. Don’t jump around looking for the best deal—this may get you in trouble.
- Check out the list of AAA-approved auto repair shops by visiting www.calif.aaa.com.
- The customer has the right to get a written work order. Everything that will be done must be approved in writing ahead of time.
- Good auto repair shops stand behind their work. Ask for a guarantee in writing and find out what it covers.
- If the mechanic’s recommendation doesn’t make sense, trust your gut. Get a second opinion and don’t leave your car there.
- Don’t replace an air filter just because a mechanic tries to sell you on the idea. Basic car maintenance suggests changing your air filter each year or every 12,000-15,000 miles.
- Make sure that the part you are sold is in fact new if that is what is being sold to you. You can ask to examine the part to make sure it looks new. You can also ask to receive your old part.
- Get informed; seek out a class on the basics of auto maintenance. Your local community college may have one.
- Even a prudent consumer can get scammed. If you have a complaint about a car repair, turn it in to the Bureau of Automotive Repair, part of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Santa Ana College’s (SAC) automotive technology program is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Inc. (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). For more information, contact Glen Hammonds at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 564-6664.
About the Rancho Santiago Community College District
The mission of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) is to respond to the educational needs of an ever-changing community and to provide programs and services that reflect academic excellence. Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of RSCCD, which serve the residents of Anaheim Hills, East Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Villa Park. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, customized training for business and industry, and programs to train nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
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