Your car isn’t running right, and you don’t know what’s wrong with it. You know you need to take it to a mechanic, but you’ve heard the horror stories, and how will you know you aren’t getting ripped off if you don’t know what needs to be done to fix your car? When you go to a mechanic for the first time, look for the following things to help you determine whether they’re trustworthy.
Willing to Provide a Written Estimate
Any mechanic should be willing to provide a written estimate â€” if they’re doing things right, it helps protect them from customer disputes. In many states, itâ€™s also legally required.Â Now, sometimes a mechanic won’t know what’s wrong with your car at first, and there’s almost always a diagnostic fee to cover the time of looking at your car to find the problem, but the initial fee should always be in writing. Once the mechanic has a proposed fix, that estimate should also be in writing along with the understanding that they won’t do any additional work without contacting you first.
Has a Reputation to Protect
Don’t go to a fly-by-night mechanic because they’re the cheapest. Look for one who is playing the long game and understands that satisfied customers are the key to business success. This might be at a dealership who wants to sell you your next car, or it could be at an independent mechanic who has been in the community for years.
Willing to Show and Explain
It can be dangerous to have customers in the work bay, but many mechanics use this as an excuse to keep customers completely in the dark about what they’re doing. A good mechanic should be willing to take the time to explain what they’re doing and why, to pull your car out to show you the problem if needed, and to show you both the old and new parts. A reputable mechanic wants to make sure you understand what they did to fix your car and why they charged you what they did so you’re happy with their service and give them good referrals. A mechanic who tries to hide their work probably does have something to hide.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.