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Vehicle Repair Logs & Tips

vehicle repair logs and tips

A Repair Log is an invaluable aid that shows how well your Automobile, Truck, or Motorhome has been taken care of. Besides showing proof of repairs, it adds value to your vehicle, should you decide to sell it, because it documents the vehicle’s regularly scheduled maintenance.

If you happen to have a Lemon, the Repair Log will show the Dates, Mileage, and Complaints for every visit you’ve made to the Dealer to have your vehicle repaired under the manufacturer’s warranty. If the Dealer was unable to fix a problem, the Repair Log will show this in an easily readable format. Should you need to go to Arbitration or sue in a Court of Law, the Repair Log shows how meticulously you’ve cared for your vehicle. A Manufacturer, Arbitrator, Lawyer, or Judge can quickly view your Repair Logs as opposed to taking hours or days to pour over your Notes, Work Orders, and other paper work you may have.

The Repair Log is a Summary of your Vehicle’s Repairs and Maintenance. Besides protecting you in Lemon Law arbitration, it allows you to quickly see the last time your vehicle had an oil change, brake job, or any other regularly scheduled maintenance procedure.

The Car Lemon Vehicle Repair Log is available in PDF format (Click the link to View the Log file, Right Click the link to save the Log file to your computer).

The Repair Log is an Interactive Form. You may either print several copies of the Log and then hand write the information, or use the form interactively by placing the cursor over a form field and typing in the information.


  1. Enter the Vehicle Information that the Log applies to. Example: Pontiac Firebird, Chevy Blazer, Ford Explorer.
  1. Enter the Date the Vehicle was purchased.
  1. Enter the Odometer Reading from the Date you took possession of the vehicle.

For each Repair attempt, Enter

  1. The Date and Mileage when you took the vehicle in for repair.
  1. The Date and Mileage when you picked the vehicle up. Note, the Date should be the date the repairs were completed, not necessarily the date when you picked the vehicle up. The Mileage should be the actual mileage on the odometer, not necessarily what is printed on the Invoice.
  1. The Name of the Dealer or Repair Shop where you took the vehicle to. For Warranty Repairs, you must take the vehicle to an Authorized Repair facility.
  1. The Repair Order Number. This will be printed on the Repair Order/Work Order and you should not leave the Repair Facility without this.
  1. A Description of the Problem / Work Requested. This can be as simple as “Oil Change”, but if you have a major problem with the vehicle, describe the Problem in detail. It is especially important that for repeat problem(s), the problem be described identically on each visit to the Repair Center. This is to protect your rights under the Lemon Laws. The Problem Description must appear on the Repair Order. Do not sign a Repair Order or leave your vehicle at the Repair Shop unless the specific problem has been written or printed on the Repair Order. Do not attempt to diagnose the problem.
  1. A Description of the Work Performed. When you pick the vehicle up, you should be given an Invoice that details the work that was actually performed. Write the actual work that was done in your log. If the Repair Shop refuses to give you an Invoice, either because the vehicle is under warranty, the work performed was for a previous warranty job, or for whatever excuse that might be given, make a note of this.
  1. The Price you Paid for Repairs. If you had any incidental charges such as Towing, Lodging, or any other out of pocket expenses, enter “See Attached” and attach a copy of the Invoices or Sales Receipts to the Log (Number the Log Entry and the Receipts so that you can easily refer to them).

Work Requested / Work Performed

It is very important that for repeat problems you Describe the Problem the same each time you take the vehicle in for repair. Make sure that what you say is what is written on the Repair Order. The problem you describe and the problem the service writer enters on the Repair Order may be two different things. If you hear a “clunking noise in the left rear only when driving above 50 mph”, make sure THAT is what is written on the Repair Order. The service writer may write “Check clunking noise in left rear” and the mechanic may only test drive the vehicle at slower speeds and not be able to duplicate the problem. To protect your rights under the Lemon Laws, you must describe an unfixed defect the same, each time you take the vehicle in for repair, and you must make sure that your complaint is written on the Repair Order. For Warranty repairs, you must take the vehicle to an Authorized Repair facility.

When you pick your vehicle up, make sure you receive an Invoice for Work Performed. The Dealer may tell you that there is no Invoice because you were not charged for any repairs. It is your right to know what work was performed and the Invoice is the document that details this information.

Was the problem fixed? Was the problem unresolved – meaning the Repair Shop could not duplicate it or find the cause of it? What was fixed (or not fixed) based upon your initial reason for taking the vehicle into the shop in the first place?

For Lemon Law cases, it is important to note whether the Dealer fixed the problem or could not fix the problem. The Repair Shop may say that the problem was fixed, but you drive away and the problem appears again (or it appears again in a few days). In this case, this is a new Repair Attempt for the Same Defect. Take the vehicle back and create a new Log Entry.

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