Posted by & filed under Fluids.

Sometimes when you get the bill for an auto repair, or when speaking to the mechanic, you can feel a bit uncertain in regards to what some things mean. The Signal Garage in St. Paul MN, is a full service auto repair shop that has a staff that is more than willing to answer questions you may have about your service and bill. For some though, that prefer to not ask questions, the following is a brief guide to common terms mentioned during an auto repair discussion or listed on an auto repair bill.


TSBs or Technical Service Bulletins: Some people may hear this term when a technician is talking about their vehicle and may feel a bit concerned. A technical service bulletin is a statement from a vehicle’s manufacturer that states known concerns. It is not a recall notice, but more like a notice of the most common repairs being needed for that make and model. It does not indicate there is a dangerous malfunction that would warrant a recall. At times the manufacturer will include detailed instructions on fixing an issue or will merely suggest that a vehicle be checked for signs of the issue.


OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer: This refers to a part being approved by the manufacturer and that is was built specifically for a particular vehicle.


Aftermarket Parts: This is a simple term referring to parts that were not made by the manufacturer of a particular vehicle.


Labor Rate: Labor rate is a fairly straight forward term. It describes the fee per hour charged by the auto repair shop to work on your vehicle. When asking for estimates, the technician often gives a price for the part then an estimate on the labor based on how long a repair of that nature usually takes. The end charge on a bill is listed as either Labor or Labor Time. There are many different possible rates for auto repair in the St. Paul MN area.


Labor Description: In particular, when listed on a bill, the labor description includes a detailed list of repairs or services provided. It will include a description when applicable, such as “Replaced front diver’s side headlight.”


Flat Fees Services: Flat fees services are services that you do not tend to see labor or price break downs for. These are often simple procedures such as services packages for fluid or tire checks that the garage may charge the same flat fee for regardless of vehicle.


Miscellaneous Charges: Sometimes when looking over the bill for auto repair, you will see a miscellaneous tag. This is applied to things such as shop supplies, gas, oil, waste and oil disposal fees, and other common things that go along with auto repair at times. Not all auto repair shops in the St. Paul MN area will provide a full explanation of a miscellaneous tag on paper. However, you should always ask for clarification, especially if it seems unreasonably high in comparison to the repair done. The mechanics at Signal Garage are always more than willing to explain every aspect of their billing, including any added fees that may be required for waste removal and the like.