In this article, we’ll answer these questions and look at some factors that could cause repair delays. We’ll also give some tips for communicating with your mechanic and answer three repair duration FAQs.
This Article Contains
- How Long Should A Mechanic Have Your Car?
- What Factors Could Delay A Car Repair?
- Tips For Communicating With Your Mechanic
- 3 Car Repair Duration FAQs
How Long Should A Mechanic Have Your Car?
Your car’s repair duration will vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the repair process, the number of problems, etc.
But here’s a general guideline:
- The average repair duration in the USA is around 12 days. However, this is just an average — meaning it could be significantly shorter or longer.
- Repairs shouldn’t take longer than a day for simple issues and routine maintenance, such as performing an oil change or replacing brake pads. A good mechanic will likely prioritize quick jobs.
- Complex repair jobs can take 30 days or longer (e.g., collision repair or multiple repairs).
- Most mechanics will take out a mechanics lien on your car, which entitles them to keep it until you’ve paid the repair cost for services rendered.
- The warranty on a new car could dictate the maximum number of days for repairs before the vehicle can be considered a write-off. For example, a car may need 30 days of repairs to meet the warranty requirement.
Keeping this in mind, are there other factors that could affect the repair time?
Let’s take a look.
What Factors Could Delay A Car Repair?
If an auto repair shop takes longer than expected to repair your vehicle, there might be a good reason for it.
These can include:
- The repair shop may need to order parts to fix your car. Additional delays could arise if the parts are not readily available or the supplier has shipping delays.
- There could be diagnostic difficulties during the repair process. For example, there could be several possible causes for the check engine light to illuminate, which all need investigating.
- Your mechanic may have a personal issue. They could fall ill or have an unforeseen emergency. While they should have a plan for such events, reasonable delays could happen.
- During the vehicle repair and maintenance process, the mechanic may find other serious problems that need to be addressed. These can extend the repair duration. However, in this case, the repair facility shouldn’t perform any unauthorized repairs to your vehicle without your permission.
- Because of the mechanics lien, a mechanic can hold your car until you’ve paid the final bill.
- The repair shop could be extremely busy or overbooked and may take a while to get to your car. In particular, an independent shop may only have a few mechanics sharing all the work.
Next, let’s explore some advice for communicating with your mechanic to avoid difficult situations.
Tips For Communicating With Your Mechanic
Here are some tips for how to communicate with the repair shop:
- Remain calm and diplomatic. This will allow the mechanic to focus on doing a great job.
- Leave the diagnostics (like check engine light diagnosis) and auto repair to the mechanic. Try not to insist on a course of action based on online research. Rather, trust in their professional knowledge.
- Ask for everything on paper. It’s always a good idea to request a repair estimate, a time estimate, and any other related articles in writing.
A good mechanic should also give you an itemized repair bill showing any replaced parts and materials used. This will prove there were no unauthorized repairs. You can provide your insurance company these documents if needed.
- Trust the process, but keep an eye out for red flags. For example, if your final bill doesn’t seem right, you can ask for clarification or get a second opinion.
Still have questions?
We have answers.
3 Car Repair Duration FAQs
Here are three FAQs about the duration of repair work, answered:
1. Which Car Repairs Take The Longest?
In many cases, vehicle maintenance and repairs don’t take very long.
- A brake job (changing your brake pads): 1-4 hours
- Steering wheel or power steering issues: 3-6 hours
- An oil change: 15-45 minutes
However, some car troubles need extensive repair and tend to take longer. For example, collision repair on a badly damaged vehicle can take weeks. Repairing and replacing the following parts tend to take the longest:
- Catalytic converter
- Spark plugs
2. How Can I Avoid Overly Lengthy Repairs?
To prevent unexpected vehicle maintenance or auto repair delays, choose a reliable car repair shop or auto mechanic. This will also help you avoid unnecessarily expensive repair costs.
Whether you choose an independent shop or a franchise, here are some things to look out for:
- Good ratings, reviews, and testimonials online. This shows that it is a real body shop or repair facility and has a record of good repair work.
- Certifications. Always take your car to a qualified auto mechanic.
- A clean and well-organized auto repair shop.
Instead of relying on car repair shops, why not contact AutoNation Mobile Service for your repairs and maintenance?
AutoNation Mobile Service offers all these benefits and more, such as:
- Convenient online bookings
- Expert technicians to work on your vehicle
- High-quality parts and equipment
- A 12,000 mile | 12-month warranty on every job
This keeps you behind the steering wheel (metaphorically, of course) during the repair process, since your vehicle never leaves your driveway.
3. What Can I Do If A Mechanic Keeps My Car For Too Long?
Here’s what you can do if a car repair shop or body shop keeps your car longer than the time given on the repair estimate:
- Get a second opinion from a knowledgeable friend or another good mechanic to determine if the delay is justified or not. It’s also a good idea to do this for an expensive repair.
- Ask to borrow a new car from the repair facility to compensate for the inconvenience. They likely aren’t obligated to do so, but might compromise in some cases.
- Ask for a discounted repair cost. If the duration of repairs has extended far beyond the written estimate, you may be eligible for a discounted repair bill.
- Contact your car insurance company. They may be able to help move the process along or compensate you for time and money lost (e.g., paying for a rental car).
- Leave an honest review. Write an online review of the auto mechanic or repair facility, providing a true account of your experience. This can help the shop improve its services, and other customers avoid the same problems.
Vehicle repair and even routine maintenance can be a lengthy and stressful process for a car owner. That’s why it’s important to choose a reliable and qualified mechanic.
At AutoNation Mobile Service, we provide automotive service excellence from the comfort of your home. We offer competitive pricing, online bookings, and a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty on all our repairs.
Connect with us today to get started!