It’s never fun to bring your car in for service or repairs at the garage shop. We’ve all heard the tales of people being ripped off and charged for services which they didn’t need. Here are a few steps to avoid getting ripped off.
Use the recommendations of people you know in order to find a mechanic that you can trust. If that’s not an option you can easily find one by browsing online. Sites such as Yelp are excellent tools in helping you gauge the level of service a business provides. Of course these review sites don’t always tell the entire story, but they are a good way to gauge the level of service. Beware of fake reviews posted by the business themselves. Obvious signs include multiple reviews posted on the same date or within proximity to each other using similar language style.
Confirm that your mechanic is following the recommended service listed in the owners manual. Be suspicious of any mechanic who tells you to do otherwise than what is recommended by the maker of your vehicle. Always inquire if they will be using parts from the original equipment manufacturer or aftermarket parts, since aftermarket products may not provide the same level of quality. Look for shops that are approved by AAA, as these businesses have passed quality control inspections.
You can always get a second opinion on the Internet. If you have a Dodge join a Dodge forum and if you have a Toyota, you can find a Toyota car forum. Many of these forums have members that are very knowledgeable about repairs. If you have a digital camera, you can even take a photo of the parts in question and ask other members for their input. Use search engines in order to research any services that you are unfamiliar with.
Don’t commit immediately after receiving an estimate but call around first and see if you can find any better deals. Make sure that no work is performed unless you specifically authorize it. If you feel that the cost for parts is too expensive, it’s possible for you to obtain those parts yourself if you would like, and then simply pay the mechanic for labor. You can even purchased used parts, either from Ebay, an online retailer or a junkyard. If you don’t feel comfortable with an estimate, never hesitate to hold off on making decision until you can get home and do more research. A business with ethics should never pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable in any way.
It’s best to walk in with a positive attitude and give the mechanic a chance to explain what he or she feels needs to be done. Maintaining and servicing your car on a regular basis will go a long way in extending its longevity and could be a good way for you to strike up a repertoire with repair shop that you can build trust with.