If you’re like AIT presenter, Lara Owoeye Wise, you know what it’s like to be cheated by your car mechanic. While there are some great cars out there, we all deal with mechanical issues from time to time. It’s just part of the life of the car. These helpful tips will let you in on some of the best-kept secrets your mechanic doesn’t want you to know.
Some repairs are much easier to do than you think. Remember, your mechanic works off the price of parts and service fees. The “harder” apart is to replace, the more time it will take to do so, and the more money the auto body shop will earn in service fees. Ask around before blindly accepting your mechanic’s words as truth.
Cheaper Parts Elsewhere
Not only are there some fixes that are simpler than expected, but you can usually find parts cheaper at a local parts store than through your mechanic. Get the name of the part and how much they want you to pay for it, and then buy one on your own and take it back to the auto repair shop. Your mechanic might just wise up and realize you’re not as easy to dupe as others.
Fix This Now, or You’re in for Trouble!
When a mechanic tells you that your car only has about half an inch of brake pads remaining and they must be replaced immediately, just smile and take your business elsewhere. Mechanics play on your lack of knowledge to get you to replace parts, such as brake pads, or perform regular maintenance, such as oil changes, more often than necessary. In most cases, you don’t need to replace your brake pads until there’s less than a quarter inch remaining, and you don’t always need an oil change at the 3000-mile mark. Check with your dealer to find out more information on basic maintenance requirements.
Old or New?
When you have to purchase new parts for your car, be sure to ask your mechanic to see the old parts before they toss them. Question the condition of the part and make sure the answer is adequate. The same applies to new tire purchases. The tires you’re buying should not be outdated or used, and the tires you’re removing should be outdated and worn beyond safe use.
Get a Second Opinion
It’s always important to get an estimate from your mechanic before any work is officially done. If you question any of your mechanic’s charges, and you don’t get adequate answers, look around for a second opinion. Check fees at other auto repair shops, price out the parts on your own, and ask your friends for references before letting a mechanic you don’t wholly trust work on your car.
While there are mechanics who will cheat you for as much money as you’re willing to give them, there are also plenty of honest mechanics who do solid work and charge fair rates. All it takes is a little time and research to find them.