Tips

Protect Yourself Against Unscrupulous Mechanics

Since auto repair involves a lot of technical languages that often requires specific experience and knowledge to understand, unscrupulous mechanics can try and trick you meaning, having your vehicle serviced requires trust. If you’re in the market for a new mechanic or want to ensure you’re getting honest service at your current one, here are a few tips to consider:

Research, Research, Research

Say what you will about the internet, but it’s the easiest way to check up on the businesses you frequent. If you get an estimate, research other outfits and compare costs of labor and parts. You can expect a certain amount of variation (some shops use more experienced mechanics and might charge accordingly), but any bill over 10 or 15 percent higher should be viewed with caution. For more detailed information, Consumer Reports offers a Car Repair Estimator to help determine fair pricing.

Look Out for Extra Repairs

If a technician repairs a part, says it didn’t fix the problem as anticipated, and recommends additional services, take a stand. Even with an honest mistake, you should get a refund on unnecessary work before more repairs start. Not to mention, frequently missed guesses can mean an inexperienced or inept mechanic.

Beware of Fear Tactics or Excessive ‘Maintenance’

If it seems like a business consistently acts like your car needs immediate service “OR ELSE,” you could be dealing with a dishonest shop. Though some problems require swift action to prevent more damage, most work can wait long enough for you to seek a second opinion. More importantly, your car will show obvious signs of a meltdown in extreme cases.

In addition, as long as you keep up with scheduled maintenance per the manufacturer’s guidelines, you shouldn’t need a random transmission or engine flushes. If a shop continues to push these extra services (commonly known as building the ticket), find somewhere else to take your vehicle.

Always Get Evidence

When a part wears out or if a mechanic uses words like rusted or corroded, ask to see it. Excessive wear or damage should be visible, and an honest technician will have no problem handing it over. If they refuse your request or site insurance reasons for keeping you out of the workspace, keep insisting. Any shop that won’t hand over the evidence should be avoided.

Note: Also stay away from any dealership that says your car must only be taken to them. True, certain services (usually involving a warranty or recalls) require dealership care, but most repairs can be handled by any licensed mechanic.

Remember, for all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs, call Village Autoworks in Woodbury.

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