by | Sep 9, 2013 | Auto | 3 comments

Choosing the right service advisor is a concern for all automotive consumers, especially people who are not that into car parts and automotives. For those who are not as savvy with cars, going under the hood can be a puzzle. Most car owners rely on service advisors to maintain, care, and repair their car. So how would you know if you're getting the best service to suit your needs and are not just getting ripped off? Here are some tips:

Good Advisors Only Give Valid Car Repair Advice

Every kind of repair is important, but there are some that take immediate priority while others can wait a bit longer. One way you'll know that you have a good advisor is if the first thing they recommend is a repair that's vital to your safety like brakes or tires. Another thing is if they do an immediate diagnostic for a check engine light because that will prevent further problems down the line.

Make no mistake, though: a good service advisor will still recommend important repairs that aren't necessarily for your safety but will still save you money in the long run and keep your car in the best possible condition. A good service advisor can also offer you a printed schedule and help you strategically plan out future repairs if don't have the cash on-hand to do everything right away. While doing this, they would also tell you the possible consequences of delaying certain repairs so you'll know exactly how important each service is and when would be the best time to do it.

Good Advisors Only Recommend Needed Accessories and Repairs

This one can be a little tricky to discern. Most service advisors are paid commission so the more you spend, the more they make. Not only that, but it should be obvious that an independent shop or a dealership is a business that needs to make money. However, a good service advisor can still be very successful without selling you services or repairs that your car doesn't need.

Getting sold services and repairs you don't need is a sure fire way to tell a bad service advisor apart from a good one. Usually, service advisors will look at your car history and tell you the services and repairs that are absolutely necessary to maintain your vehicle while also giving helpful suggestions for services you may want to get but aren't as essential. In the end, the decision is yours but, like I said earlier, service advisors are there to help people who might not be knowledgeable about cars.

That's why it's important to get a second or third opinion if you suspect that an advisor is trying to sell you more than you need, because then they're not doing their job properly. Never go back to a dealership whose advisors are lying to their customers and ripping them off. Better yet, tell your friends and your family, tell your whole neighborhood and see how long that shop stays in business for.

Good Service Advisors Always Tell the Truth

Most of the time, your service advisor is telling you the truth; they wouldn't last too long in that field if they didn't. In cases where your consultation with your advisor is confusing or doesn't sound right, it's recommended that you ask as many questions as you have to. If you're not convinced that a repair is necessary, you could always ask them to take you to your car and show you the problem.

Now, if you still feel like your advisor is lying to you, find the service manager or general manager and let them know. There are two possibilities there: you'll either out a bad service advisor or you'll be reassured that a certain service is, in fact, necessary. Lastly, you can always bring your concerns to the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

Before you agree to anything, you can also go around the shop and see how much they charge for their services. A good service advisor tells you everything you need to know and doesn't withhold information. It's not exactly easy to spot a good service advisor, but with the pointers above, you'll have a better time telling a good one from a bad one.

And for service advisors in need of guidance, wanting to increase customer retention and build  better rapport with their customer base, these things are easily attainable with the proper training. If you don't know where to start, you don't need to worry…. I wrote a book just for you.


  1. catherine lang

    Recently, I took my 2007 Honda to a local dealership for an oil change and walked out of there with a $911.99 bill! Any and all maintenance has always been performed by this dealership, so I had assumed a level of trust with them. Upon performing a multipoint inspection, it was found that the rear brake pads needed to be replaced and resurfacing of the rear brake rotors.. Also among the recommended services was a brake fluid exchange, replace transmission fluid and replacement of front brake pads and resurface brake rotors. Among the Passed Task inspection were the tires. However, the Service Consultant pointed out worn areas on the two back tires that indicated a realignment was needed. I agreed to all of the agforementioned to be corrected, but upon inspecting all the documentation of the listed charges, the tire replacement was listed as a customer request and not as a recommendation. I never would have asked for 2 brand new tires if the service consultant hadn’t said they were needed! I talked with the head of this dealership and told him of my concern and he agreed that some of the verbage used between “recommended and customer request ” was confusing and he would work to correct this. In the meantime, I believe that they saw an opportunity for profit and took it!

    • Danno

      You should probably keep going to jiffy lube.

  2. Karan Joshi

    Hi, your information is very inspired by me and your information about the service advisor is very impressive and so much helpful for me. Keep it up and Thank you very much.:)


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