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List: Posted: 01/28/11
It is a very delicate relationship, the one between the motorist and the auto repair man. In most cases, the motorist has no idea what’s wrong with the car besides some stalling, strange noises and startup problems. Here are some ways to avoid getting ripped off by a mechanic whenever you experience car trouble.
First, try to avoid randomly choosing an auto mechanic. The repair clinic closest to you is not necessarily the best choice. Instead, ask around for referrals. If you know someone that has your type of car, ask that person for a referral. Your friends, contacts and work associates will be able to direct you to an honest car repair shop that they can personally vouch for. They may even get money off themselves for recommending a friend.
Second, try to research these repair shops online. Look up local reviews on the car company you are considering. What seems to be the consensus? Are there reviews on the quality of the repairs? Is there a negative statement about the car company’s customer service policy? If the car company has low ratings, many negative comments or any complaints against its name, it’s best to avoid doing business with the company.
Once you find someone willing to work on your car, take precautions. Have the car mechanic diagnose your vehicle’s exact problem and then ask about pricing for labor and parts. Ask if you can get a discount on used parts (you may be able to find cheaper parts online or in the junkyard). If you buy all the parts cheap and supply them yourself, all you will owe the mechanic is labor money.
Make it clear that you are only paying for one specific service. Do not authorize any other car repairs or auto servicing until you reach an agreement. Put that in writing if possible and have the mechanic sign it. Using common sense and remaining cautious will help you avoid unnecessary charges and bogus car repairs.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information