Importance of Keeping a Vehicle Repair Log

Importance of Keeping a Vehicle Repair Log

Why should you keep a repair log? It is an invaluable aid to show how your car, truck, or motorcycle has been maintained. If you include invoices, work orders, and receipts, you can easily prove what work has been done and when. Besides showing proof of maintenance, it can add value to your vehicle and make it significantly easier to sell. A repair log is a summary of a vehicle’s repairs and documents the car’s regular maintenance. It allows a buyer to see the last time the vehicle had a brake job, oil change, or any other routine procedure.

If you discover your car happens to be a lemon, the New Jersey Lemon Law requires you to provide proof of frequent auto repairs and the number of days it has been out of service. Think about how long it would take to go through all of the notes, work orders, receipts, invoices, and other records that have wound up in a messy pile…it could take days!

If a repair log is maintained correctly you won’t have to waste your time sorting through all those records. It will have the dates, mileage, and complaints each time the vehicle was taken to the dealership to be repaired. If the dealer failed to fix the problem, the log will clearly indicate the frequent auto repairs and strengthen your case. Well-kept documentation will protect you in Lemon Law arbitration by showing how you take care of you car.

Repair Log Instructions

  • Enter the vehicle’s information. (Example: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, etc.)
  • Record the date the car was purchased.
  • Write the mileage from the odometer reading the day you took possession of the car.

For each repair attempt, enter:

  • The date and mileage of the vehicle when it went in for repairs.
  • The date and mileage when the car was picked up, NOT when the maintenance was completed.
  • The dealer or repair shop.
  • The repair order number. Make sure you don’t drive off without this!
  • The description of the problem/work requested. For routine maintenance, it is fine to keep this simple. But, describe major issues in detail. It is important that repeat problems are described identically each time it’s taken in to be fixed. This is to protect your rights under the New Jersey Lemon Law. The description of the problem must be on the work order.
  • A description of the work performed. When you pick up the car, they should give you an invoice detailing the all the work that was performed. Copy this down exactly in your repair log. If they refused to give you an invoice for any reason, make a note of this.
  • Include any incidental or out-of-pocket expenses here. Attach copies of all the sales receipts or invoices.

For Lemon Law cases, it is especially important to note whether the problem was fixed. Often times, the repair shop will say the problem was fixed, but when you drive away, the issue appears again.

If you think you have purchased a lemon, contact me, David W. Polsky at 973-686-9787 to schedule a free consultation.