Test Drives

In my opinion every vehicle that enters and leaves a repair shop should be test driven. In the perfect world every repair or maintenance job begins with a test drive. Every multipoint inspection begins with a test drive. Then every job ends with a test drive. The test drive should be a formal, documented process just like all the other processes within your organization. When formalizing the test drive you want to keep them as short as possible, avoid technicians “running errands” while on a test drive, and ensure the test drive route is designed to catch as many potential problems as possible. Most shops can find a test drive route that takes only a few minutes to complete, allows for right and left turns, has a few bumps and can adequately test the braking system. Work with your technicians to find this test drive route and then make it a policy to test drive each and every vehicle before and after service or repair. Be sure to post this policy in your waiting room or in a “customer bill of rights” document that each customer is provided on their first visit. Test driving will work hand in hand with your quality control process to ensure quality, create customer trust, and avoid comebacks.

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