What You Need To Remember When Bringing You Car In For Service Repairs + Tips To Save You A Headache

 mechanic use


My husband and I traded in my mini van for a 12 passenger van when we found out we were pregnant with baby 5 because we knew we needed the extra room. After having the van for about a year we received a letter in the mail from the tire manufacturer whose brand tires were on my van that the tires have been recalled so I called my dealership to schedule an appointment to bring my van in and have all 5 tires replaced (included the spare tire). For months they told me the tires were on back order so out of frustration of the whole ordeal I passed it off to my husband to handle.  Finally the tires came in!


So instead of me dragging all 5 kids to the dealership on a weekday while my husband is at work and sitting there with the kids my husband offered to take the van in early on a Saturday morning, I was thrilled that he offered and jumped at the chance and said yes! No problem, he brought the van in and the brand new tires were put on.


As my husband left the dealership and drove down the street he noticed something odd. As he made a right hand turn he noticed that my passengers sun visor was down but he knew it wasn’t that way when he brought it in. So he pushed it up and wham! there was a crack in my windshield that was about 12 inches long! So he immediately called the dealership and made them aware of the crack and that it was NOT there when he brought the van in. 



windshield crack


What an ordeal after that. First they denied it and then they wanted us to use our insurance to have it repaired. I stood firm and refused.  I mean this was a large car dealership, didn’t they have insurance? After all they broke the windshield? 


So I did have to go there with the 5 kids after all and sit and wait for 2 hours for my windshield to be replaced while waiting with 5 impatient kids in the waiting room. For the “inconvenience” they can be a “free” oil change. Really? Do I want to go back there? They tried to cover it up by pulling my sun visor down over the crack in hopes it wouldn’t be seen right away!  Makes me a little leary to go back! I understand accidents happen but from my view it looks like they were trying to hide it from the beginning. If they would have been honest and up front with us then no problem but they weren’t.


Here are some things to remember when you bring your vehicle in for service repairs:


~ ALWAYS inspect your car carefully on the inside and outside prior to leaving your car for any kind of repair work.  


~ Have the service person inspect your vehicle with you before they drive away with your vehicle.


~ NEVER leave any valuables in your vehicle. I take our my garage door opener, loose change and even my cell phone charger. 


~ If you find any damage to your vehicle after service repairs have been made then tell them immediately do not wait!  Call them and then bring the vehicle back for them to see the damage. 


~ If damage was made by the service department then take pictures for your own keeping just in case they refuse to rectify the problem.  


~ Stand your ground do not pay for damage that the service department / mechanic made. 


What tips do you have?  These quick tips can save you from a headache in the long run!  




  1. My husband deals with all the car repairs. I always felt like I never fully understood what the mechanics were talking about, but my husband does.

  2. Ugh. No thanks. I let my husband deal with ALL of these types of things. 🙂

  3. Wow! I will take my van in for minor repairs, but mostly we have my cousin and my husband do all the work on it because it’s cheaper. We have a 15 passenger van ourselves!

  4. Wow!! What jerks!! But at least they did fix it for free. I’m amazed at what people try to get away with and great tips.

  5. I HATE taking my car in for repairs much less a routine check up. I never understand what they are saying and nearly faint when I see the bill at the very end!

  6. These suggestions are so great. It’s very hard even with a reputable dealer to trust my car to them for fear of issues exactly like this.

  7. WOW, I am seriously surprised that they tried to get you to have your insurance cover the cost. That is crazy! Glad you stood your ground!

  8. Excellent tips! what a shame that happened to you. I don’t like when people try to take advantage.

  9. That is awful! My dealership scratched my hatch washing the car after an oil change. Sadly, they denied it, but now they know I take full color photos of my car before I leave it with them and I always check it when I pick it up. They’re very gentle with it now.

  10. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe they tried to be so sneaky about that! 🙁 I have a huge crack in my windshield that was there when I bought the truck, but the dealership gave me an IOU to fix it. I–like a complete moron–didn’t realize this expires and let it lapse! 🙁 Now I guess I’m stuck with it. I suck.

  11. What a nightmare! I’m so glad they did fix the windshield! I had no idea that this type of thing happened. I’ll be sure to inspect my van from now on when we have it serviced.

  12. they really like to run all over people.. i stand my ground all the time with them and make sure they know whats going on.. I also inspect the car, i have had damages done to my car while getting fixed.

  13. Whoa about the broken windshield! Yikes. My husband deals with all that and builds relationships with local people. Whenever we get anything done, cars, appliances, etc. it always seems like he and the repair person became fast friends. I really think it helps!

  14. These are great tips. Cars are some of our most used an valuable possessions, its hard to leave them with someone.

  15. Great tips for making sure your needs are met when taking your car in! I don’t really understand how cars work, glad my husband gets to deal with those problems 🙂

  16. Wow, that is horrible! I always hate dealing with mechanics. I know nothing about vehicle repairs, so I’m sure I’ve been taken advantage of more than once.

  17. I’m so bad at dealing with car things–I go in totally trusting and naive. Thanks for this post!

  18. Angela S says:

    Great tips! My son is a mechanic, so I always call him first.

  19. Wow, it’s understandable that accidents happen but hiding it is way worse. I would have filed a police report for the damages. How crazy.

  20. That’s horrible. I type this as my husband has my car in the shop today having new tires put on. I always let him deal with all of that.

  21. Ugh, what a bummer that it happened to you… I took my car in for an alignment and when I left my car wouldn’t get out of 4 wheel drive. I turned right back around and though they swore they don’t touch anything that has to do with my 4 wheel drive they still fixed it. …

  22. Oh my gosh! What an ordeal! I can’t believe they tried to hide that from you. Thanks for the tips!

  23. I would definitely not go back there, and I’d be sure to tell everyone I know about my experience. Their behavior was unacceptable.

  24. You’ve got to watch those guys like a hawk. They’ll try to put one over on you every time.

  25. Wow that sucks! I never really thought of this before, but I’ll totally be more aware next time I take my car in. Thanks for the great checklist!

  26. Wow what an ordeal! Sorry you went through this, but thanks so much for the tips. Great info although I usually have hubs in charge of car repairs

  27. Wow, this is crazy!! Yeah, they purposely did that – so shady. I hate having to take all the kids in for stupid things like this, our time and energy is limited when towing kids. Plus, you should get the service you pay for. Fuming!!

  28. Wow! How frustrating! My brother is a mechanic and I always call him before I let anyone else touch my car.

  29. I dread going to car dealers or car service places. We just had to go for an inspection and luckily passed, but I was expecting the worst just because we’ve had such bad experiences in the past.

  30. Oh what a freaking headache! I am so sorry you had to deal with that, that’s just ridiculous.

  31. That’s terrible you went through that, Ive had my share of awesome mechanics and really bad ones. I love the mechanic I have now.

  32. These are some great tips. It’s so important to make sure they haven’t messed anything else up while doing repairs.

  33. I am blessed that my husband takes care of 80% of our car ordeals. It is so hard to trust people these days!

  34. Thanks for the post.. WOW.. that’s terrible… I hate taking my car to the shop even for just an oil change you know they have to make their upsell quota and sell you each time a new pair of windshield wipers and at least one other thing… your tips sure will come in handy.

  35. Great tips! You never know is going to happen. The last time I took my car to a shop to get the oil changed, they didn’t even change it and threw a fit when we complained.

  36. That’s horrible that you had to go through that. That makes me much more leery when going to these places.

  37. You have got to be kidding me! I have never trusted mechanics or dealerships. That’s what husbands are for.

  38. My husband usually hangs out there if he can. I know that usually they rip women off more for they think they are ignorant. I try to go places with a good reputation. We are at their mercy most of the time too. So sad but true! What do I know about a computerized car!!??

  39. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I think you have all the basics covered or the should does before you leave your vehicle with a repair shop or tow company. Thanks for sharing.

  40. I don’t drive yet. But, I will keep these tips in mind once I do obtain driving privileges.

  41. These are great tips. You never know what will happen no matter where you take your car. What a mess you had to deal with, Glad it all worked out.

  42. Oh! Luckily my husband is a great mechanic. So unless it’s something urgent when he’s out of town, he usually takes care of everything. These are definitely great tips though because you truly never know when an emergency will pop up!

  43. I can’t believe they tried to hide it from you, insane!!! These are some great tips, thanks for sharing

  44. I am so lucky to have a husband who does all this stuff for us!

  45. I would not go back. Nope, nuh uh, no way. Pulling that visor down and then trying to get out of it when you came back is a sure sign that there’s a virus going on over at that place.

  46. Great tips. I usually have my husband bring it in as I get too frustrated when the mechanics call me sweetie.

  47. These are great tips. I do the same thing when I take my minivan to the repair shop. So far I had no troubles having my valuables stolen.

  48. What an experience! Sorry you had to go through that situation.

  49. My hubby’s car is killing me when it comes to repairs. It is driving me batty.

  50. What a crazy experience. I am glad you were able to get it all worked out. Sorry that you had to deal with it though.

  51. Wow how unprofessional! I would definitely not be going back there. I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that, I’m not good at standing up for myself.

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