How much do you know about your vehicle? When you open the hood, can you identify everything? If your car was up on a lift, would you understand what you were looking at and how to fix it? If your answer is “no,” you aren’t alone. A majority of people on the road don’t fully understand their vehicles. They just need them to work, to get them to work or school and back.
When things inevitably break on a vehicle, it’s rare to have the ability to be casual about getting them fixed. In fact, the faster they get fixed, the better. Not only that, you need the issues effectively identified and fixed carefully and thoroughly without new problems being created. This is the auto mechanic’s job.
Unfortunately, some mechanics use their customer’s lack of auto knowledge against them. How do you know your mechanic isn’t putting your interests first? Well, in our last blog, we shared a few signs of unscrupulous mechanics, including mechanics who are pushy, who say the issue is too complex to explain, and always find extra things that need to be fixed. In today’s blog, we have a few more signs for you.
Signs of a Mechanic Trying to Take Advantage of You
The mechanic always claims it’s the worst problem possible.
If you start hearing a little rattle and take your car to the shop to get it checked out, only to hear that your entire exhaust system needs to be replaced, it’s time to pause and get a second opinion. Modern cars generally don’t have complete systems fail without pretty dramatic symptoms. If a mechanic comes at you with words like “full,” “all,” “whole,” or “entire,” nod your thanks and head to another shop for a new perspective.
The repair job takes a long time.
In general, shops charge a certain rate for labor. Most repairs shouldn’t take more than a few hours. If the shop says your repair will take a week, it’s probably a good idea to get a second opinion. The shop may be trying to build up hours just so they can overcharge you.
The mechanic offers deals on flushes and top-offs.
If you head to the garage to get one issue solved, stick to your plan. The garage may try to get a bit more money out of you by offering deals on flushes and top-offs. Most of the time, these $20-$40 services aren’t needed, and you don’t need to pay someone that much just to confirm it.
Use the Right Mechanic
How do you know you’ve got a good mechanic on your hands? Recommendations are a big deal, especially if they come from people who know cars. You can even bring one of them along. If you don’t have any gearhead friends, try to get opinions from a wide range of mechanics. Doing so will help you identify those who might try to take advantage of you. Once you find a great mechanic, show a lot of loyalty and respect to build the relationship.