Owning a car comes with numerous responsibilities, from frequently changing the oil to doing thorough cleaning occasionally. However, when it comes to expertise in mechanics, most people haven’t got the accurate skills for dealing with basic vehicle troubles despite making considerable financial efforts for a new car.
Therefore, most are taking their vehicles to a car repair shop, or simply put, a mechanic who is certified to deal with the problem. However, people are often getting ripped off by these so-called professionals, especially when they don’t know how complex the issue is.
Usually, it’s best to go to a mechanic you trust and have collaborated with before. But if you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with your car’s engine making weird sounds, you have no choice but to call the closest car repair shop.
But you can do some research to find someone reliable so you don’t risk overpaying or damaging your car even more. Here’s how.
Check the services available
Before deciding to call a particular car service company, it’s best to research their available services, usually prices on their website or social media page. This will help you understand their range of expertise, so you’ll learn if they can fix your issue.
At the same time, seeing what services they provide, you can have an idea of their training, so if they’re up-to-date with the latest technologies, such as an OBD scanner, it means they’re doing a thorough analysis of error codes and, therefore, provide an accurate diagnosis.
Ensure there’s a warranty included in those services
Of course, if the services offered are various, this doesn’t mean the car service is completely trustworthy. For instance, the lack of warranties can show that the company may not be sure of its employees’ training quality.
On the other hand, where the car repair shop ensures total repair, you’re guaranteed that in the case of an upcoming problem after the repair, you’re covered financially and will not have to make another investment.
However, these warranties tend to be limited by mileage and other factors, which depend on the company’s affiliates with specific dealerships. That’s why even getting OBD may or may not be covered per the claim of the car repair shop.
Learn the fundamental car problems
One of the easiest ways to avoid overpaying for basic services is to learn a few essential things about how cars work and what are some of the most common problems. This also depends on the car manufacturer, but generally, these are frequent vehicle issues:
- A flat tire occurs when you drive through potholes, and you can learn how to change a flat tire in no time, but you need to always have with you a spare tire and a manual car jack;
- If you don’t want your car to rust, it’s best to wash it regularly, but that doesn’t mean extensive rust should be ignored;
- Bad breaks need to be changed as soon as possible because otherwise, you put your life and others in danger, so always check them if they’re squeaking;
- You can touch up on some chipped paint yourself with some paint, a fine tip and wax and grease remover to prepare the surface;
- The cabin air filter must be changed to avoid damage to the car’s blower motor, and you can do it alone and save some money by only reading the instructions and putting it in the correct orientation;
If you’re not in a hurry, it’s always best to compare the prices of several car repair shops in order to get the best deal. Of course, price is not always directly linked to quality, but it still says a lot, and you can have a general idea of how these shops in your area work and charge, so you’ll never be surprised in moments of trouble.
It would also be best to compare repair shops in regard to quality of service and reputation on social media. These two factors are essential to understand why others choose or avoid those shops. However, they don’t always reflect reality, so visiting more car shops is recommended to get to know the market.
Ensure the shop has as many certifications as possible
A straightforward way to check if the company is trustworthy is to check its certifications that show an official body has approved it. Hence, it’s safe to take your car in. These certificates can also be obtained for specific car manufacturers, so you might want to check the paper on BMW
Certified Collision Repair Centre or the Ford Aluminium Certified Repair Centre upon discovering new car repair shops.
If you own a luxury car, things can get complicated because you’ll have to research more thoroughly for brands like Alfa Romeo or Porsche. Indeed, people training in high-end luxury vehicles are rare, but that’s also because these cars are not that common in smaller cities, for example.
Don’t always hurry to pay the price
Unfortunately, some workers of car repair shops might overcharge you if you seem to know almost nothing about the car’s condition, which is a common reason why some people have a bad idea about these companies. The only way to avoid that is to allow the employee to diagnose your car, and when you’re asking about the price, don’t be so fast to pay it immediately.
It’s best to ask beforehand how much the entire service will cost and what other hidden prices of the whole service are. Indeed, you must pay for the person’s service and sometimes the missing parts, but that doesn’t mean you’ll pay for something your car doesn’t need.
Whether you’re a first-time car owner or not, you need to be wary of the car repair shops where you’re taking your car because it may happen that workers are asking for too much money and are not that professional. So, you must know the basic things about your car and seem confident when entering a workshop.