Running into vehicle issues can be a nuisance. From flat tires to collision repair, the estimated cost to repair vehicles always seems to be beyond expectation. This is due to two things: One, lack of knowledge with auto repair and two, an untrustworthy mechanic. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced the displeasure of visiting the mechanic whose sole intent appears to be getting every dollar they possibly can. Our intent is to help you recognize common mechanic tactics, give some pointers on how to avoid dishonest mechanics, and offer aid in the event you were taken for a ride.
Don’t Give Into Mechanic Pressure
Some mechanics will attempt to scare or pressure you into unnecessary repairs just to run up the bill. They will test your knowledge, or lack thereof, with a lengthy list of things they claim you “desperately need.” We know there are a lot of great mechanics out there that just want safe vehicles and safe drivers on the road. If it’s your first visit to a new repair shop, take their suggestions home and do your own research. Get a few opinions, make sure you’re not being bullied into a potentially costly repair.
Lack Of Warranty Mechanics
Your mechanic should display an assurance that the work completed is quality. Verbal recognition of completed repairs or the quality of work is never a satisfactory agreement. Most vehicle repairs are covered under good auto warranties or extended auto warranties, but there isn’t any reason to not be covered in the event of poor workmanship by that of an unskilled or untrustworthy mechanic.
Be Aware of Labor Costs
It’s not just the cost of a battery; it’s the replacement of one. It’s not just an air filter; it’s the installment of one. Before agreeing to a repair, vital or unnecessary, make sure you are fully aware of the labor costs associated with it. Some repairs require disassembly and reassembly of intricate engine parts just to gain access to the area of repair. A professional mechanic handling the repairs of your vehicle is always our recommendation, but not at the expense of inflated labor hours to make a buck. Do your homework on how involved some of your estimated repairs actually are.
Billing For Work That Was Never Done
It happens so quickly. An easy slide of paperwork over the counter and a 30 second explanation that, “we went ahead and…” did something. Take a long look at your bill and don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions. Air filters, multi-point inspections, fluid top-offs are a few examples of repairs some shops will claim to have made but never do. This is ultimately complete neglect or the worst kind of hidden expense, but it happens all the time. Before your repairs or tune-ups are started, try to have a clear understanding of the cost and what to look for after the fact. It may be that you’re paying for something imaginary.
Is Your Mechanic Certified?
This is something most people almost never look for in the waiting room of a repair shop. Did you know that there is a standard for auto mechanics across the country? The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence certification isn’t required by all states to operate a repair shop, but that doesn’t justify its absence. Most shops require their employees to achieve this certification, but we all know some shops aren’t more than one or two people. The checks and balances that exist in corporate run repair shops may not exist on the local or sole proprietor level. So, make sure whomever you’re using is recognized as completing this certification (required every five years).
These are just a few things to help make you a more informed customer when it comes to auto repairs. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you’re covered by an extended auto warranty, and we can help with that. Contact us to learn more.