8 Areas to Check After Your Car Returns From the Mechanic
There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure a good relationship with your mechanic and that your car ends up in good shape after a visit, but one of the most important is checking the car after it comes back. All it takes is a quick look at a few key locations to make sure that everything is in good working order.
1. Damaged Areas
If your car was damaged in an accident, you should start by looking at the damaged areas. Start by looking at a distance, but follow that with a close inspection. You should be checking for dents, scratches, and other signs of damage. This will make sure that nothing got overlooked during the repair process and that the mechanics managed to fix all of the aesthetic damage that can reduce the value of the vehicle.
You should also make a point of examining the car’s paint. Some repair jobs use tools that have a risk of scraping some paint off of the car if the mechanic makes a mistake, and it is important to look for signs of that damage.
Many repairs also require the mechanic to add a new coat of paint over some or all of the car. In that case, you should be making sure that the new paint is the same color as the old coat. Depending on the paint and techniques that were used, texture can be just as important as color. In general, you should be looking for a smooth and consistent appearance that is reasonable uniform across the entirety of the vehicle.
The next step is to check both the inside and the outside of the car to make sure that everything is clean. The car might have a few scraps of garbage inside it from the repair process, or the mechanic may have accidentally left one of their tools inside the car. A quick check is all it takes to make sure that your car hasn’t picked up any unwanted items.
Mechanics often have to move the car while they work on it, and that can mean adjusting the rear-view mirror and any other mirrors on the car to get a better view. That’s a necessary step to avoid accidents, so you should always check your mirrors to make sure they are back in position before you drive away.
5. Seat Position
Seats can be adjusted just like mirrors, and getting their position right is almost as important. Driving relies heavily on muscle memory, and having a seat in the wrong spot can hurt that memory. Moving a seat back into position is quick and easy, so there’s no reason not to do it.
Hinges, both those on doors and those built into the hood of the car, often suffer more wear and tear than the rest of the machine because they move so frequently. That combines with their small size and relative flexibility to make them one of the weakest parts of most cars. They can get manipulated a great deal during the repair process as mechanics open and close the hood, or go in and out of the car as they work. You should always check on them when you get your car back to make sure that they do not need to be lubricated or otherwise repaired while the car is still with the mechanic.
Cars depend far more on electronic components than they did even a decade ago, and their dependence is likely to increase even more in the future. The sheer importance of a car’s electronic parts means that you should take the time to examine them carefully when you get your car back. They may also have needed software upgrades and have gotten them while the mechanics worked, so you may need to familiarize yourself with any changes that have taken place as part of that process.
Your car’s lights should be the final part of the inspection. Test your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals to make sure that they work before you get on the road. You may need them to signal to other drivers and stay safe, so you should always do this before you head home with your car.