We have all been there. You’re out driving, having a normal day and then all of a sudden; something is wrong with your car. Maybe it is making a funny noise or has stopped working altogether. Your first thought is to get it to the mechanic. A normal day has turned into a stressful day.
Having something go wrong with your car is already very nerve-wracking. The last thing you want is not to get ripped off by your mechanic. They can be helpful, but they are also known to be dishonest. Before you make a beeline to a shop, think about making an informed decision.
Everyone is out to make a living for themselves. It is important to protect yourself and your hard-earned money from being scammed. While your car needs to be fixed, it doesn’t need to be a hassle for you. You can’t avoid repairs, so below are some basic tips to help you from getting ripped off by a mechanic.
Learn the Basics
Learning the basics will help you stay confident when talking to the mechanic. They are less likely to rip off someone who is well-versed in car talk. If you know your way around your car, even just a little bit, they can tell.
If you still know where your owner’s manual is, this is a great place to start. At least familiarize yourself with which parts are which under the hood. Know what your car requires for routine maintenance. The more you get to know your car, the less likely you are to be ripped off.
Rely on Referrals
Asking friends and family can be an important step in finding a mechanic that won’t rip you off. No one is going to refer you to a place that did them wrong. They won’t want what happened to them to happen to you.
If a shop has treated them right in the past, then they will do everything they can to get the establishment more business. It is what we do for businesses that have helped us. A business treats customers right is more likely to get a good review and keep new customers coming.
Use OBD2 Automotive Scan Tool
Using OBD2 scan tool can lessen your chances of getting ripped off. An OBD2 automotive scan tool will give you a code to help you figure out what is wrong with your car. This helps if what is wrong with your car is electric.
When you get a code from a diagnostic tool, look it up and see what repairs are suggested. Then talk to your mechanic. This can be a way to ensure you are not getting ripped off. Do the work to figure out what is wrong with your car. Your conversation with the mechanic might be more honest.
Check the Price of New Auto Parts
This is one piece of advice that can be taken for granted. Don’t forget that you can call the dealer yourself to ask how much a part will cost. Compare that with the price the mechanic gives you. If it doesn’t match, then the mechanic is trying to rip you off.
It is always important to cross-check prices when it comes to parts. Mechanics should not be charging you way more than the dealer would. Make sure to do your homework. Figure out how much the part would cost if you were buying it and doing the work yourself.
Ask for the Old Parts
When the mechanic finally calls you to tell you what is wrong with the car, ask for your old parts. This way, if they have promised to replace a part, you will be certain they have. If you don’t as for parts back, then they could rip you off this way.
Make sure to ask as soon as you know what parts they are going to repair. After all, they are your parts, and you are going to be paying for the new ones. Asking as soon as possible will help deter mechanics from trying to save some money and ripping you off. Show them you mean business.
Don’t Forget about Routine Maintenance
This can help you to avoid getting ripped off. Keep track of the routine maintenance that is done on your car. Leave a record of it in the glove box, and take it with you when bringing your car in. It can ensure you won’t get ripped off.
When they tell you all the things that need to be done with your car, refer to your list. If it has been done recently, then it probably doesn’t need to be done again. Stay informed with what maintenance has been performed on your car, so the mechanic doesn’t convince you to spend more.
Trust Your Gut
At the end of the day, your gut is probably right about whatever it is feeling. If you have a bad feeling about a maintenance shop, then it probably means they won’t treat you right. Having a negative and overwhelming feeling of dread is caused by something that doesn’t seem right.
Usually, a person can tell when an establishment is going to rip them off by a first impression. When walking into the shop for the first time, did you get a negative vibe? If so, you should consider going elsewhere to have your car worked on. When in doubt, trust your instincts.
All in All
Getting your car repaired doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. Make sure to take the right steps before deciding on who will fix your car. Once you find a reputable mechanic that treats you—and your car—right, be sure to keep their number handy.
Car repairs will happen because no car can escape having work done. Being able to do some of the repairs yourself can help, but not everyone is able to do that. When it comes to finding a mechanic, take your time. Troubleshoot with an OBD2 scan tool, which accurately provides information to diagnose car problems!