Most people who own cars don’t really have the time or want to service them. How many people do you know change their own oil for example? Even something relatively simple like changing your own oil is rare across America today and we trust mechanics to take care of our vehicles and charge us fairly for the parts and work.
Of course, there are great mechanics that get work done quick and implement fair business to make money. You might even be friends with your mechanic and have a strong customer and mechanic relationship but not all mechanics are entirely fair. In fact, many mechanics use a combination of upselling and lying to take more of your money.
Being knowledgeable on your clunker (& its needs) and what sort of work it needs can prevent a greedy mechanic from taking advantage of you. Knowing the tricks they might pull and how to react to them will help tremendously. Here are some scenarios you might find yourself in.
If your car has been damaged and you don’t want to deal with a mechanic. A nice alternative could be just to sell your vehicle online.
Service Your Own Car
This is sort of a commonsense solution when it comes to how you cannot be taken advantage of because of course if there is no mechanic involved there’s no potential for being scammed. You might however be terrified of working on your car as well because it’s not exactly the most fun thing to do.
Doing things like changing your own oil however will save you a ton of money and the tools you would need to do it are relatively simple. Just buy some ramps for your car and a good wrench and you could be changing your oil whenever you want. Buying oil would be just a fraction of the cost as paying a mechanic to do it would. You also don’t have to deal with any attempts to upsell you as well.
If you know what could be specifically wrong with your car or what the general problem might be then look into how those problems are solved. If you know you need your brake pads replaced research how much that costs on average and make sure you don’t overpay.
An auto shop might be advertising a great deal at first glance but will upsell you until your bill is higher than if you had just gone somewhere else. Try to play dumb at first so you can see the moral fiber of the mechanic in question and if you see there telling you need to spend money on something you don’t need, call them out. If mechanics are supposed to be respected and trusted with your vehicle, you should also be respected as a customer that needs fair service.
Ask for Details
You might have left your car at a mechanic’s shop before, only to come back to a huge bill with sprinkles of work you apparently won’t be able to notice or see. This is a classic mechanic card and because they pull this trick so often, you need to be on top of all the details and work.
If your mechanic plans to replace parts, always ask to have the original parts back to inspect before they start. This means they won’t replace anything that isn’t actually worn down, meaning they won’t replace everything they can get away with.
Have your mechanic tell you precisely everything he does to your vehicle. Even if you don’t understand what a certain fix is, have him explain it to you until you are satisfied. If a mechanic isn’t willing to explain what he did to your car, then he isn’t a particularly good mechanic.
Check for Certification
A good mechanic doesn’t necessarily need to be certified, but offering a certificate as proof they’re a professional business can help a ton when deciding if a mechanic is reputable. the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence offers certificates to mechanics they consider worthy of business. Checking to see if an auto shop is certified can help weed out other options in your area and insure you receive quality service.
Getting your vehicle serviced by a mechanic can leave you in a vulnerable position of not knowing whether a price is fair or not. Doing some research beforehand and having a plan in mind, will help make sure that you are not ripped off by any greedy mechanics. Not all mechanics are unethical in this regard but it is better to be safe and in the know then paying the price not to be.