How to ensure you are not taken advantage of
Automotive Services, Motor Engineers & Repairers
Negotiating auto repairs or a car service can be a daunting experience for those with little understanding of what is involved. There are a number of ways, however, to become better informed about your car and its servicing requirements. Having this knowledge will help you understand the work your mechanic is recommending and ensure you get good value for money from your car repairs.
Know your car
Read your car’s manual or do some other research to know how your car is built and any special features it may have. Gaining a basic understanding of the parts of a car, in particular the specific mechanics of your vehicle, will help when discussing with your mechanic the work which needs doing.
Research the cost of repairs
It is a good idea to do some research before you visit the auto mechanic to get an understanding of how much common repairs should cost. Find out the costs of standard car service procedures such as oil changes and brake checks. You can also try and identify particular areas of concern with your car and research these before heading to the mechanic. This will help in initial discussions with your mechanic.
Get an estimate
Once the mechanic has assessed your vehicle, ask for an estimate of works to be done. Your mechanic should always give you an estimate and detailed explanation of the work required before commencing any repairs. Having an idea of the costs involved gives you the opportunity to look for a better deal if you feel the first quote is too expensive.
Once you have a price estimate, if you are not convinced that you are being offered the best deal, don’t be afraid to shop around. Phone a couple of mechanics in your area and ask for an indication of their costs for similar work. If you find a cheaper price, consider the reputation of the mechanic. If possible, it is a good idea to speak to existing customers to make sure they are happy with the workmanship and service.
Ask for the old parts and any warranties on new parts
It is fine to ask for the old parts that were replaced, particularly if you have any doubt about the work done on your car. Many reputable repairers will offer these to customers as a matter of course. Before any repairs are undertaken, it is a good idea to check on any warranties on new parts. A good mechanic will discuss these with you and provide the relevant paperwork.
Establish a good relationship
Establishing a good relationship with your mechanic can make the process of car repairs less daunting. Personal referrals from friends and associates are a great way to find a reliable and honest auto mechanic. Ask around for referrals and make a short list. It is ok to visit a mechanic’s workshop before bringing your car in. A good mechanic will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will explain the work to be done in everyday language. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and clarify any areas you are unsure of.
- Gain a basic knowledge of cars in general and your make and model specifically.
- Research the costs of basic car repairs and service items.
- Ask for an estimate of work required.
- Shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal.
- Ask for the old parts and any warranties on new parts.
- Ask friends and colleagues to recommend a mechanic.
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Having some basic knowledge about your vehicle and the process and costs involved in repairing your car can make looking after your car a less challenging task. Find an experienced mechanic that you can trust in your area to ensure your car repairs are of the best possible standard and at a competitive price.
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