Everyone who owns a vehicle has gone through this before. You take your car to an auto mechanic shop for a simple oil change, but end up leaving with a burning hole in your pocket due to unexpected expenses and necessary maintenance for your vehicle. Most people are unaware of what goes on under the hood to realize that their vehicle is one mile away from the junkyard. Once they visit a mechanic, they find out that not only do they need an oil change, but they need air filters, hoses, brakes, a major tune-up, and a new transmission. Sometimes the problems are legit and are very difficult to be detected by someone who knows nothing about car maintenance. Finding a reliable mechanic who can perform the necessary maintenance on your car is very important. However, you should be very careful about who you choose to work on your vehicle. There are many predator mechanics that love to feast on those who are ignorant about car maintenance. If you are not careful, you could end up paying more much more money than you should.
Here are a few tips that you should know when dealing with auto mechanics.
Knowledge is Power
Scenario: You keep hearing a strange noise coming from the hood, but have no idea what it is.
You do not need to know how to put a vehicle together from scratch, but you should have some basic knowledge on what goes on under your hood. Wicked mechanics can spot fresh meat a mile away and will tag on extra maintenance work to get more money from you. If you are not sure what is wrong with your vehicle, ask someone you know or search the internet for information. You should have some sort of idea about what’s going on before you talk to the mechanic. Never trust them to tell you the truth, even if you been giving them business for years.
Marking Your Territory
Scenario: Your alternator is going bad so you take it in to get serviced and the mechanic charges you for replacing the alternator. A few days later, your car won’t start. They never replaced the alternator.
I’ve gotten in the habit of labeling the part that I need replaced with a black magic marker before visiting the mechanic. This is an indicator whether or not they really fixed the problem. There was a report on the Jiffy Lube franchises in California, where mechanics would let the car sit in the garage all they without even opening the hood. Labeling parts is something that I thought of that works really well. Another good Idea is to tell the mechanic to show the damaged auto part before replacing it. Make sure he/she shows you the actual part that came from your car and not from another vehicle.
Do It Yourself
You don’t always have to run to an auto mechanic when there is something wrong with your vehicle. There a many things that you can fix your self or replace such as air filters, brake pads, spark plugs, and changing the oil. Gas is too expensive nowadays and we need that extra $30 from an oil change to keep the tank from reaching empty. Don’t let auto mechanic shops overcharge you for things that you can fix your self!
Avoid the Mechanics at the Dealership
I hate dealing with the mechanics at the Auto dealership and you should too. For starters, they over charge you on everything because they claim that they use the brand named parts for your vehicle. Yeah right! I once paid $200 more for an alternator at the dealership. My biggest pet peeve is that they take forever to fix your vehicle. Sometimes, you can be waiting for days until your vehicle is ready. My advice to everyone, avoid visiting the auto dealer for repairs to your vehicle.