Avoid spending more than you should by choosing an honest car mechanic.
These days, finding a good and honest auto mechanic can be more difficult than finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. A lot of car owners have experienced one horror story after another after getting their cars serviced by dealerships and independent mechanics alike. There are those who were charged for car parts, materials and other miscellaneous fees that were not originally included in the estimate and there were those who were coaxed into paying for a costly maintenance item that they don’t really need. And the list goes on and on.
So, how can you avoid being cheated by your car mechanic? Here are some useful tips that you may want to keep in mind to make sure you don’t pay a dollar more than you should.
Ask for recommendations. Ask your friends, relatives and colleagues if they can recommend a reliable mechanic. There is a great chance that someone in your network knows a good mechanic who can get the job done without costing you a fortune. If this fails, take your search online. Use online message boards and review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s list to find credible car technicians. You should also check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to know what other people feel about your chosen dealership or repair shop.
Ask the mechanic to show you the problem. While you may not fully understand what the problem is, the mere fact that your mechanic agrees to show you what’s causing the trouble can be a good indication that he is being honest with you. If they are replacing parts, ask them to provide you with the old ones so you can see that they really needed to be replaced and that the necessary repairs have been undertaken. It doesn’t hurt to play the inspector, especially if it can help you save a lot of money in the process.
Ask the right questions. When you bring your car for an inexpensive oil change (or any other repair or maintenance job) and end up being billed for a lot more, inspect the bill to see why it has gone up. Look for any miscellaneous fees and other materials that were not included in the original estimate. If there are any, you can successfully challenge them.
Stick to your scheduled maintenance. Don’t let your owner’s manual to gather dust in the glove box. Read it and do what it says. Knowing what your car really needs can help you avoid all the unnecessary expenses your mechanic may suggest.