No matter how well you maintain your car and follow the manufacturer’s care recommendations, at some point you’re going to need to have a mechanic look at or make a major repair on your vehicle. The issue, however, is finding a trustworthy mechanic that won’t try to upsell or overcharge you for their work, yet still completes jobs quickly and correctly the first time. This article looks to quickly cover some of the things your mechanic should and should not be doing so you can better decide whether or not it’s time to find yourself a new mechanic.
One of the sneakiest ways mechanics and repair shops will try to suck some extra money out of you is by upselling repairs or diagnosing problems you don’t really have and saying they need to be taken care of immediately. Do note that it’s normal for a mechanic to take a look around your car to identify any other problems while they perform a repair, but they shouldn’t be coming back with more issues every time or constantly be trying to turn cheap repairs into long, expensive projects. If your mechanic not only performs an inspection that seemingly proves you need extra repairs, and then refuses to service your initial problem until you address the other problems they found as well, you definitely need to find yourself a new mechanic. Remember – this isn’t only about repairs that don’t really need to be done. You may actually have other small fixes you need to handle but be sure your mechanic is charging you a fair price for the added repairs before you give them the green light on anything besides what you initially came in for.
Going hand-in-hand with only suggesting repairs you actually need, your mechanic should give you a written estimate with any issues they find which describe the issue, the way it will be fixed, how long the job should take, and a price estimate. Having all this information in writing somewhere is important for a variety of reasons. First off, without having a price estimate written down somewhere, you have no leverage to negotiate with your mechanic if you come to pick up your car and the bill is significantly higher than what you expected. If you can’t prove that they quoted you at a lower price, you’re most likely going to be stuck paying the higher bill. Having your issues, solution and estimated cost in writing also empowers you to get multiple opinions and the best deal on your repair. If your mechanic isn’t willing to document the issues you’re having and what they’re charging to work on the car, the odds are they aren’t conducting honest business and you should be taking your hard-earned money elsewhere.
Even if a mechanic is documenting everything that needs to be done and isn’t adding extra repairs to your project, they can still nickel-and-dime you through their parts and labor. Some shops will only recommend expensive, name-brand parts that can significantly drive up the costs of your repairs. Although you definitely don’t want to be using cheap, low-quality parts for your repairs, spending way more for comparable parts isn’t a great alternative. On the labor side of things, make sure the timelines your mechanic gives you for repairs make sense. It shouldn’t take weeks to change your brakes, even if the shop is busy. If your mechanic’s repairs are taking unusually long, they may be trying to slow things down so they can charge you for more hours of labor.
Finding Someone New
If, after reading this article, you’ve decided that it’s time to seek out a more trustworthy mechanic, we have a couple quick tips that can help you narrow the search. First things first, first impressions do count, even for auto repair shops. Now, that’s not to say that your repair shop should be totally spotless and free of grease because, well, it’s a mechanic’s shop. But there should at least be some sense of professionalism, cleanliness, and organization to the facilities and a friendly, professional staff to help you out.
Finally, if you think you’ve found a good option but still aren’t sure, test the waters with a small repair. Take your car in for a battery replacement or oil change and see how the handle things from start to finish. If you’re happy with everything, you might have just found yourself a new go-to mechanic!
If you’re still looking for a trustworthy source of auto parts, service and repairs, look no further than Holbrook Auto Parts! Holbrook has a massive inventory of new and pre-owned parts between multiple locations around Detroit, as well as a professional repair center to handle all your repairs and installations! Stop by and experience the Holbrook Difference!
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