Get Smart: How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Mechanic

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Even if it’s not exactly the most high-tech model of recent years, your car is probably among the most expensive things you own. To keep such a valuable asset in the best possible condition, you’re going to need to take it to a mechanic for maintenance every now and then. Unfortunately, modern auto shops can be a pretty good place for getting ripped off, so here are some tips to avoid it!

Shop Around

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If you’re passionate about driving, then every minute that goes by with your car out of action may feel like agony! However, if you want to make sure you’re keeping your repair costs down as much as possible, it’s essential that you take your time looking at all your options. From little independent auto shops all the way up to nationwide chains, there are countless establishments which can be a little less than ethical when it comes to pricing up repairs. Asking some of your friends and family for recommendations is usually a good place to start. Even if they can’t point you towards a great mechanic, they’ll probably be able to tell you where not to go based on experience. These days, there are also many comparison and review tools you can use such as Whocanfixmycar.

Make Up your Own Mind

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Before you actually take your car in for any work, I recommend paying a potential auto shop a visit in order to gauge what you’d be getting yourself into. A clean lot with healthy turnover is generally a good sign. Mechanics who take pride in the appearance of their shop will take pride in the quality of their work too. If the lot is totally clean, the work floor itself is nice and tidy, and you don’t see any half-repaired bangers around, then the mechanic should definitely make your “maybe” pile. A professional service writer is also a pretty good sign. If you weren’t already aware, the service writer is the guy at the front desk, whose job it is to draw up estimates and repair bills for you, the customer. If they’re not very helpful, or they don’t seem to know what they’re talking about in terms of the actual faults, then leave them be and find someone else.

Retain Some Control

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There’s nothing a crooked mechanic likes to hear more than “do whatever needs to be done.” If you say this or something similar, you’ll pretty much be giving them permission to do all kinds of expensive work on your car, and slap you with the hefty bill afterwards. Sure, your car may run better than it’s ever done after the fact. However, your bank account certainly isn’t going to look too appealing! Try to learn a little about the problems you’re having before you take the car into the auto shop, and make sure you understand everything on your quote before agreeing to it. It will take more effort, but keeping some control is important to make sure you don’t get ripped off!

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Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’re getting a fair deal from your mechanic.

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