Basically, owning a car can be a huge liability. You may consider it as one of the most expensive gadget that you have. And when it comes to getting your car fixed, whether for conditioning or perhaps an accident, it is not uncommon that you pay more than what is actually needed. Be on the know and never let mechanics make you pay for unnecessary stuff. Read on and follow these tips.
1. Make sure that you go to an honest shop. To do this, ask around from friends or families. You may not know that businesses concerning automotive repairs usually thrive by advertising through word-of-mouth. Essentially, people you know would never refer you to a mechanic they have had bad experience with. If in case you just moved in a new place and do not know anybody yet, check out RepairPal.com or Cartalk.com as they offer free referrals to shops you could trust.
2. You may consider going to independent shops rather than the mainstream ones. Most of them have long-term relationships with their customers and since relatively, they cater to less clients, they would be able to keep track of your car’s maintenance better than big-box shops.
3. Evaluate the shop personally. First, check the cleanliness of the shop. It would be a good sign if it is clean and there are not many other automobiles in need of repairs. This could ensure that they do repairs rapidly. Also, make sure you assess the Service Writer, or the one whom you would be talking to for the estimates of your bills.
Make sure he or she is knowledgeable to your situation and that he or she is accommodating. If possible, also try to talk to the mechanics so you would be able to gauge their expertise. Know how long they have been working for the shop. If they have been there for quite a long time, chances are the shop is good and they already have plenty of experience.
4. Take control over your car and never say “Do whatever is necessary.” This gives mechanics a license to practically invade your entire car. Make sure that for every problem there is with your car, you are provided with a detailed estimate of what you have to pay for. There are consumer protection laws to help you with this. These laws require written and itemized estimates for you to sign before the repair could start. Make sure that you do not sign before you understand everything laid out to you.
5. Keep receipts of all the services you have sought for your car. This may be tedious but very helpful in the long run. This way, you will know the service history of your car. If in case you need to have another repair seemingly similar to what you already had, you could check with your receipts. This way, you would be able to gauge if the cost for the present repair is higher or lower than what you had in the past. Also, the receipts are necessary in case the repair comes with a warranty. Be extremely mindful of these so you would be able to save more and spend less.
Avoid getting ripped off by following those simple tips. Not because cars are complex and very few people understand them, mechanics could treat their customers like innocent children. Know your own car and give it the best but affordable service it deserves.