The worst thing you can do when you need to repair your car is to dive into the world of auto repairs without prior information. Since you need to know what’s wrong with your car before asking a mechanic to repair it, you have to visit a car repair shop or try diagnosing the problem yourself. As soon as you have a clue about what happened to your car, it’s time to take control of the situation. Before finding out how to do this, you should know that anyone can get ripped off – even you.
- Offer Comprehensive Explanations: The better you’re able to convey to your mechanic what’s wrong with your vehicle, the easier it is for him to diagnose and fix the issue. Write down the things that ail your ride, such as leaks, smells and sounds, and how often they occur. What had happened a few days before the car stopped running is also very important.
- Ask for Estimates: Most mechanics charge a diagnostic fee, ranging between $50 and $100. Considering this, it’s advisable to call a few car repair shops before committing to one. As soon as a technician takes a look at your car, he can tell you how much the repair will cost. After you get a first estimate, look for other car repair shops and find out how much they charge for the same repair. Once you take a final decision, try getting a better deal by negotiating the estimate.
- Get a Second Opinion: Asking for a second opinion is important not only to get a better deal, but also to make sure that the initial diagnostic is accurate. When visiting another technician, don’t repeat what the first one said. Just provide the same information about the problem and let the technician decide what’s wrong with your car.
- Check with Your Dealership: If you intend to choose an independent mechanic to repair your car, but you don’t trust him, check with your dealership whether the diagnostic is correct or not. To reassure yourself that you're getting the best deal, compare the fees charged by the independent mechanic to the dealership service rates.
- Check the Part: Obtaining the best deal when repairing your car pretty much means getting the best possible service for the amount you agree to pay. To make sure that you get the service you expect, ask the mechanic to show you the broken part and explain you why it needs to be replaced. After the repair is made, ask him to show you the new part.
- Test: Never pay for a repair before test driving your car. This is the only way to make sure that the mechanic did his job properly. When driving your car, watch out for warning signs, such as sounds, leaks and smells. If the old problem persists or a new one arises, ask the mechanic to take a look at your car once again.
Although you can get a better deal from an independent repair shop, sometimes it’s advisable to choose dealership service. If you own a Ford, for instance, opting for Ford dealership parts and service is auspicious especially because you'll get genuine spare parts and reliable service provided by professionals who have been trained by Ford and work on Fords most of the time.
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Mike knows how to get the best deals on getting your vehicle repaired. He knows where to look and what to look for.