On follow up from last week repair issues, we covered finding a repairer you feel comfortable with, getting a quote and describing your issue. You can find that blog post by click here. This week I will talk about authorizing repairs, detailed invoices, warranties and 2nd hand parts.
1. Authorising repairs.
Not many repairers will carry out work unless they have received authorisation from you. There is the odd repairer that won’t though and you need to make sure you clarify this before you leave your keys with them. It is in your best interest, and theirs, to make sure that the repairs that need to be completed (as well as the costs) are understood by yourself and them. Ask for a written estimate before agreeing to any further work.
Remember though, anything you authorise to complete you are legally committed to pay. So if you can’t pay immediately for the repairs you are approving, make sure you make your mechanic aware so you can come up with an agreement. If you haven’t made an agreement in regards to payment, the mechanic may legitimately hold your vehicle until full payment is made.
You can also request the old parts to be returned to you as well or even photos (unless an exchange part), but make sure you ask before any work is done so it is not disposed of before you collect your vehicle. Otherwise, the parts may be collected by the rubbish truck and gone for good.
2. Invoice / correct documentation
If you have not received a detailed invoice after having a service or repairers carried out on your vehicle, then you need to insist on one before you make payment. Your invoice MUST have the following details:
- Your vehicle details (Rego, VIN, etc)
- Date and odometer reading for when the repairs were carried out
- What work was done (in as much detail as possible)
- The warranty provided on work carried out
- And a breakdown of parts fitted and labour
- The business name, address & contact details of who carried out the work.
This information will assist in the event an issue arises, but also serve as a record of the repairs carried out on your car. This will also assist in showing where and when repairs have been carried out when it comes time to sell your vehicle.
Any repairs or servicing carried out on your vehicle by a mechanic will be covered by a warranty of some form. There is no standard warranty period for repairs – you will need to discuss the warranty period with your mechanic before having any work carried out. Some will only offer a 3 month or 5,000klm warranty, however, some are more generous, while others offer less! Clarify with your repairer the exact warranty they offer – is it 6 months only or 10,000klm only…… it could be 6 months or 10,000klm, whichever comes first; but clarify this before any work is carried out!
But regardless of the warranty is offered, please consider that a part or sublet repair may have a longer or shorter warranty period. If it is shorter than the offered warranty on workmanship, then this should be noted on your invoice. The same if the warranty is longer, this should also be noted on your invoice.
And in the situation where the repairer recommends extra work be carried out to be covered by the warranty offered but is declined by yourself, you may be asked to sign a waiver or disclaimer acknowledging that you have understood the implications of the proposed repair. They still, however, have a responsibility for the work they have carried out. So for instance, if the work failed because of a problem with workmanship, the repairer would still be responsible. BUT if the work they recommended (and not carried out) caused the failure, this would be not their responsibility. They may still offer to assist with the repair if this was to happen at a discounted rate, but this is at the discretion of the repairer.
At Ipswich City Mechanical, we offer a 20,000klm/12 month Australia wide warranty on all workmanship and parts that come with the manufacturer/supplier warranty.
4. 2nd hand parts (recycled parts)
2nd hand parts are commonly used to keep the price of repairs to an acceptable level or because the parts from other sources are no longer available. You should know that most 2nd hand parts have very little warranty cover. Sometimes the warranty can be limited to the replacement of that part with another 2nd hand component only meaning no labour is covered; so you could be up for the labour costs if a 2nd hand component was to fail. The length of warranty available may also be limited to 1 month or 1,000klm, whichever comes first.
There are so many potential sources of replacement parts, so make sure you weigh up your options and costs before making any decisions.
Next week will be Part 3 and the last in this instalment. I will talk about Sublet repairs, disputes and your options, record keeping and Safety certificate disputes.
Have a terrific Tuesday!