If you own a car, then you’re going to have to deal with a mechanic. It’s as simple as that. Even if sometimes you would rather not have to, due to bad experiences you might have had in the past. A lot of people will get a skewed perspective precisely because of those bad experiences, but the truth is that most mechanics are perfectly trustworthy. However, issues such as overcharging, performing unnecessary fixes, and the like are real issues. So, how do you avoid the problems that people can often have with mechanics and get the services you deserve?
Research the shop
If you want to make sure that you can trust your car with your mechanic, there are plenty of places to find the information that you need. You can always ask friends about any experiences they have had with them in the past, but the online world is going to provide plenty of information, as well. You should check their website, first and foremost, for any credentials as well as how much experience they have. You should look up reviews, be they on Google or on more specialist sites, to see what real customers say about the services that they provide.
Choose the right team for the job
A good mechanic will be able to tell you when they are and are not the best person or team for the job, and might even recommend another garage for fixes that they’re not as well-equipped to provide. A lot of garages have specialist skills, such as car brands or types of cars (like classic cars) that they are used to performing fixes on, or they might operate like an auto body shop and be more well suited for certain kinds of fixes. Always do your research on local garages to see what services they advertise, in particular, and choose those that show an expertise in precisely the kind of fixes that you’re going to need, rather than just visiting any mechanic and hoping they will do the trick.
Know how to stick up for yourself
You can make sure that you’re avoiding the worst mechanics out there with some research and a good idea of what you’re looking for. However, you want to make sure that you’re still able to deal with them. Negotiating with mechanics means that you need to know about what’s going on with your car. If they name a problem with it, then you should do your research to make sure that you’re aware of what the fix entails and how much it’s likely to cost. You also have to be willing to put your foot down to ensure that they’re transparent about the necessity of any fixes that they mention carrying out, as well as the sources of any additional costs.
The majority of mechanics are going to be entirely good faith actors who aren’t going to try and nickel and dime you at every opportunity, but you need to be vigilant against those who are willing to take advantage.