It has become common that unexpected extras added to your vehicle repair or service bills that you’d wonder if your mechanic is ripping you off.
Mechanics, officially called automotive service technicians, are often the “defendant” of complaints from customers who believe they’ve been overcharged or received subpar service.
A few pointers can help when dealing with a mechanic.
When he seriously throw you a line like, “It’s dangerous to drive away with your car in this condition.” You ask your mechanic why.
Make sure that the repair is completely necessary. They could be pressuring you to agree to an expensive service on the spot.
If in doubt on a diagnosis for a repair, do the same thing – shop around for a second opinion and for the prices of the repairs. A third or fourth opinion wouldn’t hurt, either.
You could save hundreds, even thousands of dollars off your final bill with a bit of phone calls and enquiries to other mechanics.
Search online for forums and recommendations. You’ll definitely come across a similar situation to yours that could be valuable information.
Identify when the problem started for a specific matter. Say, you hear a grinding noise when you turn. Does it happen when turning left or right? Or at certain speeds, or when going uphill, downhill?
This can ensure the problem gets solved as mechanics have a limited time to test your car before repairs.
You may be given cheaper options, but these will doesn’t match the capability of the original items. Cheap parts can easily cause an accident.
Your owner’s manual provides a list of routine service items against each service interval. Read the list beforehand and check for any surprise extras on the invoice as soon as you get it. Your mechanic should be able to explain and answer any question on the invoice.
Many brands are starting to offer fixed-price or capped servicing. Read the fine print as these plans vary coverage and duration. Some will cover a fixed number of services, while others will cover the duration of your new-car warranty. There’s also capped-price servicers ‘upselling’ extras like higher grades of oil, adding to the final bill.
Some workshops are qualified to service your car without affecting your warranty. Ask for written proof they’re qualified to do a warranty-safe service.
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