Almost every car owner has had an uneasy experience at the repair shop. While most auto mechanics are honest and truly want to provide you with reliable service and affordable repairs, there are some technicians that may take advantage of your inexperience by exaggerating the severity of a problem to get you to spend more on repairs. So if you aren’t a car expert, how will you know if you’re going to a reliable auto technician?
Here are five signs that your auto mechanic is not reliable:
1. A Routine Repair Turns Into More
If you’re taking your car into the repair shop for a routine check or a simple oil change, it should be just that – simple. When the technician suddenly tells you that there are many costly repairs and replacements needed on your car, make sure you get all the facts before allowing them to continue working on your car. There’s always a chance they could be creating non-existent problems, in order to convince you to spend more on unnecessary repairs.
Have them fully explain the reason that additional repairs are needed and what the next steps entail. Then, get a second opinion or do your own research before signing off on the additional work.
2. No Estimate
After explaining which repairs your car needs, your technician will give you a written repair estimate. When the technician is not willing to provide you with this, it is a red flag. There should never be any surprises when seeing your repair bill. This bill should include a description of the work to be done, the costs of parts and labor, and a statement that the estimated dollar amount will not be exceeded without additional approval. Without this estimate, it’s easier to be over charged after the fact.
However, if your technician does give you a written estimate, and it seems high, it’s still a good idea to take it for a second opinion.
3. “You Wouldn’t Understand”
Most car owners don’t know the first thing about car repairs. Before paying for repairs, you should always know exactly what the issue is and how these repairs will be done to fix it. If your mechanic tells you that you won’t understand and therefore don’t need an explanation of work, take this as a sign to find a new technician. Otherwise, you could be stuck paying for avoidable repairs.
A reliable and trustworthy technician will take the time to give you an explanation of all necessary work, no matter how limited your auto knowledge may be.
4. No Time to Think About the Repair
Your technician should never pressure you into making a decision. When you’re presented with the repairs your car needs, take a moment to decide if you are comfortable signing off on them. Whether that means waiting to get a second opinion or doing research before agreeing, a reliable technician will understand and want you to be confident in your car’s care.
5. Bait and Switch
Mechanics often draw in customers by offering a free inspection or a discount. After you’ve taken them up on this offer, they could come back with additional suggestions on costly repairs that are supposedly needed for your car. This is known as the bait and switch car repair scam. Take your car to a reputable and reliable technician to be sure you’re not being scammed.
How Do I Find a Reliable, Trustworthy Mechanic?
Seeking recommendations from family and friends, searching the internet for a shop with good reviews that specializes in your car brand, and getting second opinions are just a few ways to find a reliable car technician. Putting in the extra effort to find a trustworthy technician can save you time, stress, and money.