COLUMBUS, GA– When it comes to car care, the two challenges most people face are where to go and what to do. Columbus Allstate agent Jonathan Smart says that many of his customers are not familiar with the preventive checks and are also unsure of how to select a repair shop.
"I work with my customers to help them understand the importance of automobile maintenance," said Smart. "Preventive service will extend the life of the vehicle and, more importantly, ensure proper and reliable operation, which may mean increased safety for drivers and passengers."
Allstate provides its customers with the following tips for finding and working with a repair shop:
- Recommendations are typically reliable. Friends, family members, colleagues, and others whom you trust can sometimes be the best resources for selecting a repair shop
- Find a repair shop before you need a repair shop. Decisions made at the last minute or under duress may not have the best results. Research and select your repair shop before you are pressured to do so
- Seek a seal. When visiting a repair shop, look for appropriate licenses and certifications. Typically, those certifications indicate that some or all of the technicians on staff have met basic standards of knowledge. Also, check to be sure the certifications are recent
- Shop around. Research capabilities, prices, and technicians for the best deal and most efficient service. Also, try to find a shop that honors your vehicle's warranty, if applicable
- Get Estimates and Keep Receipts. Always get and keep a signed written cost estimate for the work to be performed. Make sure the estimate is detailed and states that the shop will contact you for approval before going forward with work. When completed, get a repair order that offers a detailed description of the work that has been done
In addition, Allstate is offering the below preventive maintenance checklist so that all drivers who mark their calendar for "car care" in April have an itemized list of preventive service checks to be done.
- strong> Change oil filter every 3,000-4,000 miles
Check brake fluid
Check power steering fluid
Check transmission/transaxle fluid
Check windshield Washer solvent
Check tire inflation
Keep engine tuned
Check battery cables and posts for corrosion
Check battery fluid
Check lighting system, i.e. headlights, signals, brake, and tail lights
Inspect engine belts
Check washer blades and replace at least annually
Checked air filtration system
Review vehicle owner's manual