How To: Avoid Getting Ripped Off By Your Mechanic
ook one of my cars to the mechanic about three weeks ago. He told me it would be $2,000 to have it repaired. Since I am so busy this time of year, I decided to take it back for the repair the first week of January. Guess what? He thought I wasnt coming back at all and he called me yesterday to say that he made a mistake and it would only cost $1,000.
He lost my business with that second phone call because now I think he was trying to rip me off in the first place. What is up with auto mechanics that do that to people? Especially to women?
To me, finding a good auto mechanic is like finding a good man. You have to go through a lot of them to find one that is worth your loyalty, and once you do find one, you never let him go. My friend @allisonrebecca1 is also dealing with the same issue. She requested that I write this article.
Here are my top 5 rules to follow so you dont get ripped off by your mechanic:
Dont randomly choose your mechanic. Get a referral. If someone you know has been using a mechanic for several years and they are happy with his service, that information is as good as gold. Ask everyone you know who they use and what their experience was like. Usually people that have a good mechanic will go on and on about how great he is.
Take some quick notes as your mechanic is explaining the problem. Then, go home and research everything on the Internet. We use the internet for everything else, why dont we typically use it for this? It is very easy to find out how much the parts cost online. Did you know that many times they are marked up 100%? There are even sites that will let you know if the price youve been quoted is too high. Its definitely worth the time.
If they are supposed to replace parts, ask them to give you the old ones. I know, you dont really want those greasy grimy parts, but its truly the only way to know if they really replaced the parts they said they did. We would never consider buying anything else that we didnt know for 100% sure we received; however, we do it all the time with auto parts.
Become familiar with your cars user manual. I just looked at the user manual about a week ago, and wow, that was some cool reading. I cant believe I didnt look in there before. Youll be amazed at how much youll learn just from checking that out. You wont feel like your mechanic is speaking Greek when you can cross reference it in the user manual.
If you really want to see if a mechanic is honest, take a car that is in great condition to him. Tell him it is making a funny noise and ask him to check it out. If he inspects your car and says that nothing is wrong with it, then you know he is honest. If he hands you a list of things that are wrong with your car, then you know he is trying to rip you off.