Smart Car Repair 101: Know These Tips

Filed under: Classic News |

Like most vehicles, there are always two completely separate considerations to repairs and other work you may need to be done on your Smart Vehicle. There are two components involved in your price – and they will probably be familiar to you because these exist with all cars.


This is the easiest to understand. The costs of parts should be the same or very similar from one region to the next. Occasionally, there are additional or expedited shipping variables to consider. The cost should be fairly close, regardless of where you have your Smart car serviced.


Labor costs are far more variable and have wide swings; they may often fluctuate greatly from one locale to another. Another consideration is the make and model of the smart vehicle for which you are seeking service.

When you weigh these factors, ask questions. Know what the hourly rates are for the shop and area you are in. They should be set at a fixed amount-per-hour. Service directories kept by dealers will also give them approximations on the amount of time needed for all repairs.

The Repair Charges

Hourly rates can be as low as $60-per-hour but can also be as high as $150-per-hour. Always ask if the shop offers a flat rate on some well-established and constant repairs – regardless of geography.

A standard type of transmission repair may be set at $1,000. Keep in mind, like all businesses, repair centers exist to make enough of a profit to keep their lights on and doors open. They have other ongoing costs like having the right tools and equipment to repair your vehicle. The price you pay is rarely – if ever – the pure cost of parts and labor. And the bulk of the costs are rarely, if ever, pocketed solely by the mechanics doing the work.

Working With the Service Center at the Dealership

It's important to be specific about what you need to be done when you go to a Smart Auto dealer for repairs or service. Often, the service representative and mechanic who does the work will be two separate people. Here are the steps to take to make sure you get what you want to be done:

  • Write everything down and give a copy to the service representative.
  • Make sure s/he knows that anything not in writing is not authorized until they call you for approval.
  • Ask questions before you leave your vehicle. If you don't know the exact problems, what will the cost be to make the diagnosis? Describe what is going on verbally and in writing – as best you can.
  • You aren't a mechanic. It isn't necessary to get technical, and this is what you are paying them to do.
  • Will they call you before beginning repairs on anything not already discussed and in writing?
  • How long will the repairs take? If longer than a day, always ask about an overnight loaner. Even if a loaner isn't provided for free, it will often be at a very low cost. Nothing is worse than not having transportation at all.
  • When the service representative writes your work order, make sure their work order duplicates what you have in writing.

Steer Clear Off Any Confusion

Most misunderstandings about any repairs on your Smart Car will be due to what isn't clearly said or stated in writing – not what is. The more clearly you state your concerns, the better your results will be, and generally – the lower your costs will be too.

Mechanics hate to be called about every consideration – after you've left. If you are impatient, calling them every hour, say, to check about tail light assembly won't make any difference. Consider that bothering them to answer the phone may have the effect of slowing them down. You don't want your repairs rushed anyway.

Final Word

Your Smart Car's repair doesn't have to feel overwhelming. All you need to do is have full knowledge and approach the right dealer to get things done. 

Take cues from this article and ensure a "smart" repair for your "smart car".