What are the things a woman should look for when choosing a service centre?
Despite being independent and all-round achievers, women are still hesitant in entrusting the servicing/maintenance of their vehicles to workshops. Who are they, what’s their track record and are they legitimate, are some of the questions women have before booking their vehicle in for a service.
Firstly it’s important to know who you are dealing with. Most independent workshops have a website or are on social media however this doesn’t necessarily mean they are what you need.
Ask your friends and colleagues who they would recommend and find out if the workshop is accredited by an industry association such as the Motor Industry Workshop Association or the Automobile Association of South Africa.
Also go with your gut. If something about the workshop or the mechanics put you off, don’t leave your car there and then kick yourself later when something goes wrong. Use your intuition; it can save you a lot of grief.
What sort of questions should they be asking the person who services their vehicle?
A lot of the terminology or jargon gets used that may not make sense.
Important questions to ask.
- What parts are being used – original manufacture or Generic parts? (note – generic are of equal standard just a lot better priced.)
- What guarantee do they offer – minimum is 6 months or 15000km? (excluding electrical parts and 2nd hand parts)
- What does a service include and exclude?
- Do they provide a lift for you back to work when dropping off your vehicle?
- When requesting a quote – get them to email it to you with a list of what parts will be replaced.
- Always request your old parts – this helps to confirm the work was done.
- If you don’t understand what the technician is saying ask him to explain it to you in simpler terms. If they are customer centric and professionals they will gladly take the time to explain the situation further.
- Ask when you can expect the car to be ready for collection.
- It’s important that when booking in your car to be specific. Tell the technician what troubles you are experiencing with the vehicle. Go through the vehicle with the technician – check for scratches, dents, lights, windows, boot etc. The worst is when you are told that you have no wheel spanners, but you know it was there. Take the time – it will save the frustration.
Are there any safety features in which women should invest?
Today’s vehicles are clever and sensitive, they will tell you what is wrong. Check your car manual for the explanation. Independent workshops are equipped to assist most vehicles on the road so use them. They will help you and offer guidance to rectify your vehicle’s problems or take preventative measures to ensure you’re not left stranded with a broken down vehicle.
Ensuring that your lights and brakes are functioning correctly is imperative and having a hands free cell phone feature/device installed in the vehicle will free up your hands to do the driving. Also check the wear and tear of your tyre tread as smooth tyres can be very dangerous, especially on wet roads.
While not exactly a safety feature of a vehicle, our advice for women would be not to drive in heels as it becomes difficult to maneuver your feet when you perhaps need to brake urgently. One runs the risk of your heel getting stuck and resulting in an accident. (Furthermore, your heels get ruined from the friction on the carpet)