Before you decide on a certain shop, take the time to ask around, first. The best thing you can do is go based on recommendations from friends and family, because that way, you know you can trust them. Another good idea is to go online and search for reviews and opinions of other former customers. What kind of feedback have they left? How much did it cost them? Only after you have all the information can you make the final decision.
Look at prices
In addition to the quality of work, you are also interested in prices. Shop around for a while and see what the average price is for what you need to be done on your car. Don’t just take the number you receive from your mechanic at face value; compare it with other shops and find out exactly what you are getting for your money.
State your issue and ask for details
This is one of the mistakes many people make; you can’t just show up and say you “feel” that something is wrong, that it gives you a bad vibe or that it sounds funny when you do this or that. That just opens up the opportunity for them to extort you. Instead, say exactly what you need the mechanic to look at and ask what he is going to do to address the problem.
Ask for a cost estimation
Don’t forget to ask about the cost before they get started on the car. Maybe they won’t be able to give you an exact total, but they can estimate a ballpark figure. Ask for a detailed list of what needs to be done and how much each thing costs. This way, you avoid being ripped off and overcharged for zero-to-minimal work.
Don’t accept unnecessary work
Most mechanics will tack on unnecessary service so they can inflate the final cost as much as possible. Make sure to be firm from the beginning and ask them to limit themselves to what you asked for. It helps if you bring the car’s record, so your mechanic knows exactly what has and has not been done to your car. They can’t claim to “fix” something you know has already been looked at.
In conclusion, the secret to avoid being fooled by your car mechanic is to be prepared, informed and smart. Make it clear to them that you know what you’re talking about and will not be taken for a ride (pun intended!). As long as you are informed about the price and the work that is being done, you have no reason to worry about it.