Does your car have you desperately searching for “mechanic near me”? Don’t hit the shop before reading these give tips, which will make the most of your search for a local mechanic.
1) Have an expert diagnose the problem.
Going all WebMD-for-cars, thinking you know what’s wrong, can drive mechanics bananas. You tell them what’s wrong, and let them find the solution. A simple diagnosis may be free, and more in-depth diagnoses (say, for an electrical issue) will require a charge for the labor. Many mechanics will apply the cost of that diagnostic fee toward the fix; work with one who does.
2) Have the person who drives the vehicle describe its symptoms.
If someone, other than the vehicle’s primary driver, describes the issue, the symptoms may not be correct. That mistake could cost you more in labor rates for the technician to properly diagnose the car trouble. If your husband takes the car into the shop, but you’re the primary driver, call the shop, once they have your vehicle, to explain exactly when symptoms occur and how the car behaves.
This smart tip came from Bob Chandler, service manager at Openbay-Recommended Bonded Transmission & Auto Repair.
3) For in-depth repairs, seek at least two written quotes.
Just as you might request a second opinion before undergoing surgery, getting a sense of the scope and price of the work your vehicle needs will increase confidence that you’re having the right person do the job. Get estimates in writing, broken down to include parts, labor rates, and any additional fees (disposal fees, etc.).
So, for example, if one shop believes a job will take three hours of labor, and the other quotes five hours of labor, you might want to pick the shop with more skilled mechanics who can complete the work in less time, even if their labor rate is pricier. Openbay
can deliver you with a fair-price estimate, as well as share quotes from multiple mechanics, so you’re sure you’re getting a fair price from a reputable, highly-rated automotive technician. Even if price is no object, getting a second opinion, and more information from another source, always helps to understand what the job entails.
4) Don’t know anything? Don’t admit it. Then, read up.
An informed consumer can make smarter financial decisions. Even if you haven’t done your homework ahead of time, write down what your mechanic or service advisor believes is wrong with your vehicle. Then go look up the issues and parts online, before you commit to having the work done.
As Charles, at HumbleMechanic noted
, “In today’s world there is no reason to not educate oneself on any topic.” If you openly admit to cluelessness, you may also be opening yourself up to being overcharged. Instead, ask lots of questions, about why the parts and service are relevant, so the technician or service advisor is encouraged to share why
you need the repair, rather than just selling you the service.
5) Save those repair records.
Everyone’s dream, when buying a used vehicle, is receiving a folder packed with service records, from someone who’d meticulously tracked his or her car care. Once you’ve made the investment in your vehicle’s maintenance and repairs, keep the receipts somewhere safe. If someone suggests a service you’ve recently had done, it’ll help you to quickly reference your records, so you can decline that timing belt or wheel alignment.
Tracking your repair records may pay off in the long run. Once it’s time to sell your car
, potential buyers will appreciate evidence of your commitment well operating vehicle. Consider working with Openbay
, which tracks all your vehicle services online for future reference, or easy transfer to a new owner.