You may take your car to the shop regularly and have a grasp on maintenance, but when it comes to repairing a car after an accident, every car is different (and so is every crash.) The only way to make sure you understand what’s going on with your car is to ask!
You don’t have to understand everything your repair technician does unless you want to but it’s important to have enough information to make informed decisions during the repair process.
Can you show me the problem?
Usually, repair technicians will comply with this request. (That’s because usually, you can see what’s broken.) This might make it easier for you to understand what’s going on with your car.
What if I don’t fix this part?
Sometimes, it might not be worth it to fix a part if it will last a while longer without affecting other systems. Most times, leaving a problem to grow will cause problems in other parts of the car or affect things like gas mileage or your safety. It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you’re on a budget.
Can I see the broken part?
The broken parts belong to you, and as long as they don’t need to be disposed of in a certain way, you can usually see it (or keep it). This is also proof that the repair was done.
How long will this repair take?
If you’re going to be without your car, you may need to hire a rental. Your repair shop should be able to give you an estimate of how long the repair will take. If you need a repair to be prioritized, don’t be afraid to ask. If they can repair it enough to get it running for when you need it, you may be able to bring it back to finish the repairs later.
Can you explain what you fixed and how?
Not only does this help you build a relationship with your technician, you may start to understand more about how your car works and what the various systems do. If you care about the repair and try to understand, you may even get extra tips and advice on car-care!