The cost of maintaining our precious cars are high enough as it is, but have you ever left your local shop for a routine maintenance check only to drive away after paying a lot more than expected?
While most mechanics are honest, hardworking people who help us figure out car problems, there are others who want to take us and our cars for a ride.
These shady characters are actually adding unnecessary charges, and are looking to make a quick buck.
Here, we lay down actual facts that you need to know — and perhaps help you decide if you should start looking for a new mechanic.
While the idea of fixing and restoring cars for a living can sound enjoyable and satisfying (especially for car lovers) in theory, in reality, this line of work isn’t without its challenges.
Whether you work in a small repair shop or at a dealership, there are qualities that you need in order to become a reliable and efficient auto mechanic.
● Excellent work ethics: The trademark of a good mechanic is that he knows how to be completely honest and transparent when dealing with customers and their problems.
● Problem-solving skills: Auto mechanics will often deal with tricky problems and unforeseen situations and will need to work around them to get the job done.
● Strong technical skills: Mechanics also need to have mastery of their craft to make sure everything is done and on time. While this skill can be learned, a certain level of knowledge needs to be honed even with younger, less experienced mechanics.
● Leadership and communication skills: These are indispensable — a good mechanic can work well on his own, but a true mechanic knows teamwork and the value of providing great customer service.
Good mechanics can be hard to find these days, as many dealerships and smaller repair shops turn to cheat on the vulnerable and uneducated.
We’ve listed down below how you can catch yourself a scammer, so you can avoid overpaying for parts and repairs you don’t need.
We’ve all heard the classic line “we’ve fixed what you asked for, but we also saw that there’s something else that needed replacing.” A simple fix can cost much more if they always add on to it.
Always ask the right questions and that includes asking something that you might think it’s a red flag.
If your mechanic tells you that he replaced a damaged part, but won’t show you the damage, chances are it never broke in the first place and just made you pay an extra $300 to go straight into his pocket.
We’re going to assume that you don’t know much about brands or the names of car replacement parts, so you wouldn’t really know if the “quality” brand he suggests is any good.
Mechanics can take advantage of this by overcharging you for a product that’s not as good as he says it is, or by selling you something that’s not necessary.
Shady mechanics might try to use your family by suggesting that you’re putting them in danger by not having something fixed immediately.
When in doubt, call a different auto repair shop and get a second opinion before making any big changes to your car.
Many people wouldn’t know their 2004 Chevrolet Impala inside and out, which many mechanics can use to prey on you.
Don’t just take their word for it and accept that he can’t simplify and breakdown what’s wrong with your car, you’re paying a lot of money for his services, so you have a right to know what exactly will happen for the fix.
Having your car maintained regularly is always cheaper in the long run rather than having major repairs done every year or so.
The service writer at your local shop or dealership should always advise you of the needed maintenance for your car, which is generally the best practice to follow.
Having said that, there are a few unnecessary maintenance items that can be safely postponed or skipped.
Because engine oil carries a complex mixture of oils, antioxidants, surfactants, detergents, extreme-pressure lubricants, and other chemicals, there’s no need to upset this delicate balance by adding third-party additives.
Some shops can take advantage of us by selling these unnecessary maintenance items by saying that our engine will run better or longer if these are added.
You can ditch the fuel additives, at least as a regular regimen.
Everything you need for your gas tank already comes out of a pump nozzle, so this is unnecessary maintenance that you can skip.
This procedure is shoved down our throats like some kind of miracle that will improve your car’s horsepower and even your fuel economy. Of course, it is based on half-truths.
While this process will do a great job of cleaning dirty injectors, it won’t improve the power or have an impact on the economy no better than when your car was new. At most, it can only restore engine operation to its original point.
In the end, only a few of us can really rely on a mechanic that is both professional and knowledgeable, so it won’t hurt to learn a thing or two about our own cars to avoid the shady ones that only want to take more of our hard-earned money.
If you’ve just found out that you’re being scammed by your current mechanic or are unhappy with the service they provide, why don’t you try NOLA Automotive Repairs to get the high-quality standard and service your car deserves.
We’ll also make sure you know what needs to be done every step of the way in a respectful and friendly manner.
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