Should You Stay or Should You Go, Is Waiting for a Car Repair the Best Choice

Published on March 27, 2012 under Humble Mechanic

Is it better to wait with your car, or should you drop it off for repair?This is a really big point of contention in the shop. From the service advisors to the technicians, everyone has an opinion, and they are all right, just ask them. 😉

Like anything, there are pros and cons to each. From a mechanic’s point of view, dropping it off is best. It takes any time pressure off of us and lets us be thorough. It also keeps a service advisor from bothering a mechanic while they are trying to work. I will save my opinion for the end. 🙂

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons a customer might experience,

Pros to waiting at the dealer

  • You will generally get done faster if you are there waiting
  • Most dealer have free snacks
  • I can’t imagine a dealer not having WIFI, at least you can get work done
  • It is a great place to meet folks. I talked to a customer that met his girlfriend in our waiting room. How cool is that!
  • There will be no back and forth on the phone if the mechanic finds something wrong with your car.
  • If they do find something wrong with your can, you have an easy out if you DON’T want to fix your car. “Sorry I can’t wait that long”.
  • If something is wrong, you can see it yourself. Even if you don’t know what you are looking at, it will help to see something the problem, and prevent unneeded services
  • You can test drive the newest coolest cars
  • You have leverage to getting a better deal. Asking for a coupon or a loaner car so needed repairs can get completed. You won’t have that if you drop your car off.

Cons to waiting at the dealer

  • You are stuck waiting at the dealer.
  • It can get boring waiting, if the waiting room is lame
  • There is a chance that a salesman will try to sell you a new car~only a con if you don’t want a new car
  • You might get stuck longer if your car needs further repairs
  • Again, YOU ARE STUCK there.
  • You might have better things to do than wait
  • Mechanics might rush through the job

Like I said there are some good and some bad about waiting. What about your other choice, leaving your car? Pros and Cons~~~GO!

Pros to dropping your car off

  • You are not stuck at the dealer in a boring waiting room
  • This will give the mechanics more time to do their job as thorough as they can.
  • If the mechanic needs to contact a “help line” for assistance, they are free to do so.
  • You just might get a car wash(no promise)
  • If gives the mechanic a chance to earn the money you are paying. It keeps most of us from getting fussy.

Cons to dropping your car off

  • You have to make arrangements for a ride twice
  • You can rent a car, but that adds to the bill
  • There will be multiple phone calls, emails, texts no matter what
  • There will be even more phone calls if the mechanic finds something wrong
  • You have to get your car by the time they close, or “No Car For You”(are soup Nazi joke lame)
  • They might take their sweet time, and push your car until the end of the day.
  • You BETTER trust your mechanic, you can’t see a problem like you could if you were there.(If you have been following my advise, that is not an issue) 😉

When I wrote that out, I really did make a strong case for waiting on your car didn’t I. To me, it doesn’t really matter. Yep, I not mind either way. If you want to drop your car off awesome! If you want to come and hang out while I work on your car, that is cool too. I strive to do the same job either way.

Just remember, it is YOUR choice. If you wait, do not get mad when it takes a little longer then you thought. 🙂

What do you guys think? Do you prefer to wait for your car at the dealer? What is your main reason? How can dealers make the waiting room better? Hit me with what you got!

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  1. Ken

    I actually do prefer to wait assuming I have the time. I always have a good book with me and it’s fun chatting with others and maybe enjoying a doughnut & some coffee. It can kindof be a fun outing from my perspective.

  2. Matt C.

    I usually bring my laptop and wait because I don’t want to bother arranging transport back and forth.

    Usually the waiting rooms have TVs with some stupid TV show playing… I think they could be improved with video games. Then the customers could play games against each other while waiting.

  3. Amy G. H.

    I prefer dropping the car off, if that is possible. I used to do this all the time when I had the option of driving my husband’s car. Unfortunately, he bought a manual, which I can’t drive, so I will be spending a lot more time waiting at the auto shop. 🙁

  4. Brandon

    I’d rather wait. BUT… has the salesman really gone to people and tried to sell them a new one? I’d be crazy mad if i went to the dealership for my 10,000 mile service and the salesman approached me and said “hey sir, would you like a new VW!” NOOOOOOOO! lol

      1. Brandon

        Hahaha there probobly is someone like that, I was just using it as a demonstration where, if I was in there to get my VERY FIRST OIL CHANGE, and someone were to approach me and try to convince me to buy a new car, I would first tell them if they dont remember me BUYING a new car a half a year ago, and trying to throw their sales pitch at me again, when i haven’t even gotten the seats properly adjusted yet! lol

  5. Bill Foster

    From another point of view. When I worked for a dealer, we had a bad joke. If a customer wants to wait, we aren’t going to disappoint them, they are going to wait. The day I interviewed for the job, the shop foreman and I went to lunch. He had a customer wait and we took over an hour for lunch. There was no pressure to repair a customer wait over a drop-off in that shop. One more reason why I didn’t like that particular dealer and didn’t stay long.

  6. Scott

    I like that you point out that one of cons of dropping your car off is that you might not be able to get your car until the end of the day. I can see why this would be something to be aware of when deciding to wait or not. My car is needing to get the oil changed soon. I’ll definitely keep this in mind for when I go in.

  7. John Ferrell

    I like that you mentioned that there are good and bad things about waiting and dropping off your car. I think that if you are in a rush to get somewhere then you might want to drop off your car so you can go. I recently went to an auto shop and they took a little longer than I was expecting so I was a few minutes late to my sister’s wedding.

  8. Fred Elder

    The first thing always have your car clean before you take it there they will treat your car better if you leave a car there with baby seats pet hair soda bottles paper trash I will tell you because I know your car will not get treated as well and make sure before you leave it clean you tell the service manager that you wanted right and then you leave the car

  9. Dave Anderson

    That is a good point that if I dropped my car off, I wouldn’t have to be stuck in a waiting room. Maybe it would be good to go somewhere to get my car repaired. Soon I should go somewhere that specializes in Mercedes repair.

  10. Bree Ward

    I like when you suggested that one of the pros of waring is to wait because the job is done faster. It’s also a good thing that they can offer you snacks. My brother is confused if he wants to drop off his car or just wait in the auto service shop for repair. I will definitely advise all the pros and cons that you mentioned so that can he can decide which one is best for him.

  11. Mia Stewart

    I like how the article explains that by waiting at the repair shop while your car is getting worked on, it can help to get your car repaired faster. My car has recently been having problems and I am needing to get it repaired but I need it to get fixed fast as I have places that I need to go on time. Maybe by waiting at the repair shop, it can help me to get to my car fixed faster and get to my places on time.

  12. Ellie Davis

    Thanks for pointing out that waiting for your car while been repair will avoid all the back and forth with the mechanic. Being there while the mechanics are working will save you time because if there is something wrong, you can make a decision right there. The advice about meeting new people while waiting for your car to be fixed is awesome as well.

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