What To Do When Your Car Repair Service is Taking Longer Than Planned

how long do car repairs take
Alan Cleaver, Flickr

There always seems to be so much waiting in our daily life – from waiting in line at the coffee shop to being put on hold when calling your doctor’s office.
But though waiting is a fact of life, there are times when waiting becomes something of a surprise… like when a car repair takes longer than expected. If you’re wondering “how long do car repairs take?”, the answer is that it varies, and there are many reasons that they can become delayed. While you can always take the delay at face value, being without your car typically presents some real logistical problems, so here are a few actions that you might want to consider:

Communicate Clearly 

There are many reasons why your car repair may be taking longer than expected, from a backlog of cars ahead of yours to an unexpected complication during repair.
When you find out the repair is going to take longer than expected, talk with the mechanic and ask why the delay has occurred and when you can reasonably expect the car to be done. Stay calm, polite and friendly and expect the same in return.

Get Backup 

Always have a transportation backup plan when your car is in the shop so you’re not found in a pinch if there is a delay. It’s always a good idea to have a backup for at least 24 hours after the repair was scheduled to be completed… just in case. In addition, if your car was damaged in an accident, remember that many insurance companies will pay for a rental car while your car is for repairs.

Unexpected Complications, or Maybe Not 

Depending upon the age of the vehicle or condition it is in some shops may need extra time to make a repair. And this is reflected in your final bill. The age of a vehicle or condition can translate to rusted bolts or parts. One bolt snapping off or refusing to let go can lead to complications for a mechanic. Complications = time. Some shops add extra time to the estimate just to cover themselves in the event the job is more complex than originally thought. However on the flip side, if they originally planned for a complication and the job went smoothly, they owe you some time back in the form of a reduction in labor. Ask the mechanic about the actual vs. estimated labor portion of the bill. They make very well make an adjustment.
It is reasonable to expect a fair price and a thorough explanation of why the additional costs of a repair is necessary – as well as a call to ask whether you want the additional repair performed.
Simplify it next time – it’s easy to communicate with your mechanic using the Openbay app.