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How can I avoid getting ripped off at my mechanic?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 @ 09:07 AM

Avoid getting ripped off at your mechanic.

Because there are some really sleazy mechanics out there scamming customers left and right, it can be hard to know who to trust in this business.  When you own a car, though, you pretty much have no choice but to take your car to a mechanic when it needs work.  So how can you avoid getting ripped off when you take your car in to an auto repair shop?  Give the following tips a try.

Do your research.
Before you agree to have any work done, do some research on your own.  The web can be extremely useful for understanding types of car problems, as well as solutions—especially when the diagnosis is pretty common, such as brake issues, O2 sensor problems, and battery concerns.

Ward Automotive

Also, be sure to read your owner’s manual.  Sure, it’s not the most entertaining stuff, but it contains very helpful information, such as what types of fluids your car requires and when your vehicle is due for regular tune-ups and fluid changes.

Talk to the mechanic.
Depending on where you take your car for service, you might be assigned a Service Writer to speak to.  This is typically more common in dealerships than at independent shops.  The Service Writer serves as the go-between for you and the mechanic who will be fixing your car.  What you need to keep in mind is that the Service Writer is there to provide great customer service, but he or she may not have any training on how to fix a car.  Therefore, if you have concerns about your car’s diagnosis, ask to speak to the mechanic.  The mechanic should be able to provide in-depth answers to your questions and show you exactly what the solution entails.

While speaking to the technician, trust your instincts.  If you get a bad feeling or don’t feel like you received any valid answers to your questions, then take your car elsewhere.

Ward Automotive

Get a second opinion.
It might feel like a hassle to take your car in to a different shop for a second opinion, but it’s a smart thing to do if you’re having any doubts.  It might wind up saving you a significant amount of money.  At the very least, it should offer you peace of mind.

Keep your old parts.
Did you know that you can ask to have your old parts?  One way that some mechanics scam customers is to charge for new parts, while never actually replacing them. 

Make your mark.
Another thing you can do to ensure that certain parts are replaced is to put an identifying mark on them using paint or nail polish.  You can also do this to any bolts as a way of verifying that they were adjusted during the repair process.

Once you find a shop you can trust, keep coming back.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy auto repair shop in Harford County, Maryland, then give Ward Automotive a call.  Our mission is to provide our customers with quality workmanship, first class customer service, and a timely repair.  Our ethical, professional, and honest business practices have allowed us to remain a leading shop for our Bel Air neighbors for over 20 years.


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Topics: Car repair Harford County, customer service, avoid mechanic scams, Auto Mechanic Abingdon, Auto Mechanic Edgewood, auto mechanic bel air, automotive technicians, problems with auto repair shops