How to Spot Car Mechanic Rip-Offs - Consumer Reports
Beware if your mechanic’s idea of "scheduled maintenance" bears little resemblance to the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Some shops “build the ticket” (translation: pad the bill) by recommending extra and often unnecessary procedures, such as engine and transmission flushes, or by scheduling some tasks prematurely. Some hawk high-priced "generic" maintenance schedules that may omit procedures your car needs. How to Spot Car Mechanic Rip-Offs - Consumer Reports
Check the transmission fluid every two to three months. Let your engine run and open the hood of your car. Use the transmission dipstick to check the fluid levels. If there is not enough fluid in your transmission you probably have a leak somewhere in your system. It is best to take the car to a mechanic so he can locate the leak.
Make sure the repair shop technician is familiar with the particular model of your vehicle. If yes, then you can trust them with your car.
Look for an auto repair shop that displays their certifications for everyone to see. Get a good look at it to make sure that they are current. Even if they are certified, that does not guarantee quality work, but there is a greater chance of the work getting done correctly.
Take action if you believe a garage or dealership ripped you off. Notify one of the manager and give them a chance to issue a refund. If you are still not satisfied, contact your local Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Your city or state consumer affair office is also a good resource.
Your car should always have a spare tire and jack. Most new cars come with them. Being stuck with a flat tire is not something anyone hopes for. Paying for someone to help is expensive. It will be quicker and less costly when you do it yourself.
Don't ignore small annoying sounds or problems. These tiny annoyances, such as noisy brakes, are usually cheap to fix. If ignored, however, they can usually lead to much more extensive problems and expensive repairs. Replacing worn brake pads now is much cheaper than having to replace the pads, rotors, brake lines, and calipers later.
Do your research prior to choosing any auto repair company. Don't trust solely the company's website. Look to Click On this page and be wary of any complaints you may see. Also take into consideration any rave reviews the auto shop receives. These are typically objective reviews, so you can trust them more than what the shop's materials may say.
Changing a car battery is quick and easy. It usually involves unfastening a clip on top of the battery and using a wrench to loosen and remove the connectors. (Naturally, you should do this with your engine off!) Brush the connectors clean with a wire brush. Lift out http://members.asashop.org/4DCGI/directory/findshopdetail.html?Action=DirectoryDetailComp&CID_W=3307 and put the new battery in its place. Fasten the connectors securely and refasten the clasp. You should be good to go!
Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. It is your car, and you need to know why it is important to fix a specific item right away. If you are feeling intimated, or you are not receiving straight answers, get a second opinion before signing off on the work.
Make sure that the technician working on your car is knowledgeable on the make and model. Cars very greatly from one brand to the other. The only way to get the best service is to work with a technician that is well versed on the inner works of your specific automobile.
Do not ignore unusual noises you hear when driving. Clunks, screeches, clicks and pings are usually caused by loose parts. Take your car to a trustworthy mechanic and describe the noise as best as you can. Your mechanic will probably replace or adjust the parts that were causing the noise.
When working on your engine be certain to wear proper safety equipment. You need ear plugs to protect your hearing, goggles to protect your vision and polyurethane or latex gloves to protect your skin from damage and injury caused by acids and other fluids. If you have long hair, be sure to secure it to avoid having it become caught in moving parts.
Remember that where you live can have an impact on when you need to take your vehicle in for service. For example, if you only travel a short distance to work, your exhaust system may have issues as a result. If you live somewhere very hot, in contrast, you may need to look closely at your engine oil. A "one size fits all" service schedule doesn't work for everyone.
Be sure to keep the area where you are working on your car free of hazards. Keep your tools and spare parts picked up so that you and others will not trip over them. Be sure to work in an area with good ventilation so that you won't be overcome by potentially toxic fumes. Have a bag of cat litter on hand to clean up spills quickly to avoid slipping.
Talk it out with the service technician. He or she may know what they are doing, but they may fail to adequately communicate with you about what is going on. Therefore, don't be afraid to question what they are telling you so that you are both on the same page. Communicate your needs clearly so they know what you expect as well.
To get the best performance from your car, be sure that your mechanic installs original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM). Even though these are more costly than generic parts, the resulting good performance is worth the cost. Additionally, factory approved parts add up to less wear and tear on your vehicle in the long run.
Check your repair bill as soon as you get it. Look over to see that the agreed upon repairs were completed and that nothing unauthorized was tacked on. If you have any issues, bring them up immediately. As soon as you pay the bill, you have tacitly agreed the work was satisfactory. That makes it harder to balk later.
Listen to all of the sounds made by your vehicle. Noise can be a crucial sign that your vehicle is having a problem. Tell your mechanic what sound you hear and he may be able to figure out the problem more quickly.
Working on your car can make you feel uneasy, especially if you are new to auto repair. However, if you use the tips mentioned in the article above, there is no reason why you can't successfully repair your auto problems. This way, you'll save money, and feel great about tackling a problem yourself.