Auto Repair Shops Take Notice

How to Tell If Your Mechanic Lied to You

There are clear signs that will help you recognize when your mechanic lied to you. Know how the system works so you don’t find yourself handing over hundreds of dollars for unneeded repairs and parts.

It is no secret that some mechanics will invent repairs or needed buys when you go in for a simple inspection or oil change. Don’t get me wrong, many mechanics are honest and can help you with serious car repairs, but some are…well, some are less than reputable. Worst case scenario, it couldn’t hurt you to know when your mechanic lied to you in those instances. Sure, you can’t forget that your mechanic is part of a business when your check engine light comes on, but knowing the difference between someone helping you or when they are trying to help the financial situation of their auto repair shop will be crucial to saving you money that you don’t need to spend.

First, learn how your car works.

I’m not saying go to an auto mechanic school. Let me ask you this though, have you read your owner’s manual? If not, that is a great place to start. The more you know, the less likely you are to be tricked into spending more at auto repair shops. Knowing where your engine and air filters are, or even how long a new set of tires should last, will help you to know if your mechanic has lied to you. The internet is a priceless tool when researching specific problems. A car is a hard thing to DIY, but having certain information on hand can help you navigate a conversation with your mechanic.

Learn the tactics mechanics use to get you to spend money.

Mechanics have some pretty common practices and tactics to make sure you spend more than is necessary; and though it may be sexist to say, mechanics have been known to lie to women about repairs (although men can fall victim just as easily). When you need air filter changes, tire rotations, oil changes, or car repairs, you need to be aware of these tactics.

They’re wasting extra time so you’ll spend that extra dime.

Some mechanics will charge you for more time than the repair actually takes. A good way to guard against this is to know beforehand how long one of these operations should take. For example, for a tire rotation, the job itself should only take around 30 minutes. Many repair shops will charge for almost two hours of work. That’s an hour and a half of free money coming from your wallet. A simple search around Google or a conversation with a knowledgeable friend can help you save a lot of money when going in for a car repair or simple maintenance.

Some mechanics will tell you a blatant lie about work they haven’t done.

On the same train of thought as charging for extra hours, you can also be charged for work that has never occurred. This tactic can really put a dent in your pocket for work that may need to be done later on. How can a mechanic get away with a tactic like that? There are air filters that are hard enough to get to that you will never be able to physically see a difference in when looking under the hood of your car. A mechanic can easily tell you work has been done at their auto repair shop knowing that you won’t be able to tell if there was a change or not.

Common Car Repair Issues

Watch out for these potential problems:

  1. The shop waits until the vehicle is up on the lift and partially disassembled before getting your authorization to proceed with the repairs. By then, you are essentially forced to: (a) authorize overpriced repairs or risk getting your car back in a disassembled and unusable condition; or (b) pay a large and unexpected fee to have your vehicle reassembled, only to discover it no longer runs at all;
  2. The shop shows you dirty oil with metal filings in it as evidence that you need a new transmission. Virtually all used transmissions have dirty oil with some amount of dirt and metal filings. This is normal and is not necessarily a sign that you need a whole new transmission. However, once the transmission is disassembled and reassembled with the same old seals and parts, it usually does not work the same as before;
  3. The shop starts repair work on your car without first getting your authorization to perform the repair work, and then charges you for repair work that you did not authorize;
  4. The shop gives you a verbal estimate as to the cost of repairs, then charges a higher price;

Don’t take it to the dealership after the warranty has expired

A rule to live by when you’ve got an older car without a warranty—never take your car to the dealership. They charge more for everything—parts, hourly compensation, etc. Of course, the dealership is your cheapest option if you have a warranty because everything will be covered and of no cost to you.

At the dealership, there’s a good chance you won’t actually be met by the mechanic—an advantage you get with a smaller repair shop. There will likely be someone hired specifically for customer service that will explain what’s wrong with your car and take your money.

If you appreciate good customer service and a friendly relationship, you’re better off with a private garage (not that all dealerships are evil, but in my experience, they aren’t the greatest).

However, it is best to bring certain cars to the dealership. Take my Saturn Ion for example. Mechanics hate my car because Saturns aren’t made anymore so they can never find parts for it. Saturns were a short-lived production by General Motors that didn’t pan out.

GM dealers are able to find parts easier and their mechanics have more experience with the type of car. So while it may be more expensive, sometimes it’s best, if you’re in the same situation as me, to take your car some place that knows what they’re doing rather than chance it.

Meeting with the Service Writer

Here are some steps you should take to make sure you are describing the problem fully. Remember, you know your vehicle better than anyone. When something is wrong, try to pinpoint the symptoms before taking the car in for service.

What to Look For

  • Unusual sounds, odors, leaks, warning lights, or smoke
    Where in the vehicle is the sound coming from? When does it happen? When the engine is running? When the engine is cold? When you’re accelerating? Braking? Turning? Going above or at a certain speed?
  • Problems in handling or braking Do you feel vibrations in the steering column or the brake pedal? Does the steering pull to the right or the left? Are your tires wearing unevenly?
  • Changes in performance Has your engine performance decreased? Is your fuel economy falling? Do you regularly have to add coolant or oil? Are belts or hoses wearing out faster than they should?

When you explain the problem to the technician or service representative, be as detailed as possible. Don’t rush or let yourself be intimidated.

Although the technician or service representative probably can’t diagnose your problem on the spot, ask questions. If you don’t understand the answers, ask for clarification.

Be sure the repair shop has a number where you can be reached. If the technician is going to call you later with a diagnosis, ask when. If you’re going to call the shop, be sure you know the number and best time to call.

Evaluate the Shop

When checking out an unfamiliar mechanic’s shop for the first time look for the following:

  • A clean lot with plenty of turnover: Quality mechanics take pride in the appearance of their shops and rapidness of their repairs. If the shop’s lot is clean, the work floor tidy and bright, and there aren’t a bunch of half-repaired clunkers lined up out front, that’s good.
  • A knowledgeable Service Writer: The service writer is the guy that sits behind the shop’s front counter and produces the estimates and repair bills. He’s the one that you’ll be primarily interacting with while your car is in the shop and is responsible for answering the questions you have. If he’s reticent or not very helpful, that’s a huge red flag.
  • Talk to the mechanics: If possible, talk to the guys that will actually have their hands under the hood. Get a feel for their age and expertise. Some older mechanics will be whizzes at fixing classics but may not be as sharp when it comes to scanning the on-board diagnostics of this year’s 5-Series. Also ask about how long they’ve been with the shop. A high turnover rate is very, very bad. If the shop’s been there for more than a year but none of the mechanics have been there longer than six months, bail.

Cheap Auto Repair

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop

When your car needs work, two things come to mind. You want someone who will get the repair done quickly, and most importantly, someone who won’t overcharge you for the work. But how do you know which auto repair shops are honest and which ones want to take you for a ride?

Look for Experience – This may sound obvious, but just because a business has been operating for 50 years doesn’t mean the same mechanic has been doing all the work. Check out local websites, and don’t be afraid to ask how long the head mechanics have been working on vehicles. The more experienced the mechanic, the more likely he’s dealt with the exact same issue in the past.

Avoid certain National Chains – Some nationwide garages can offer a quick fix for your vehicle, but similar to the first point, they don’t always have the most experience. Many of the national chains have a higher rate of employee turnover than local shops. This may not seem that important, but you’ll learn why this is crucial in the next point.

Price Varies – The goal of any successful business is to operate in the green, and that can be hard to do if the company has a high rate of employee turnover. The more people a company hires, the more time they need to spend on training. Who usually does the training? The head mechanics. If a company can’t service as many vehicles as normal because a few of their workers quit, or because the lead mechanics are taking time out of their day to train the new hires, the company will be operating at a slimmer margin. The shop then needs to look for a way to make up the difference, and sometimes they achieve this by charging a little bit more for parts or labor.

Read the Reviews – The majority of people now use the Internet to find a trusted auto dealer, and many leave online reviews. Most car repair websites will have page dedicated to their customer reviews, but it’s important to remember that the company is the one controlling what is said on the site. Instead, check out the company’s Google Review. Based on a 5-point scale, you can see what customers think about the service they received.

Tips for Selecting Auto Repair Shops

If and when you’re dealing with auto repair problems, it can be a time-consuming process finding the right shop, but asking the right questions is key. Learn important tips that will help you select the right shop.

Ask around

Often the best referrals come from your friends and family who have had experience using the mechanics in your area. Getting a word-of-mouth referral from a friend or family member can also mean you’ll get an honest insight about their experience with those repair shops, which can help save you money or avoid a scam.

Shop around before an emergency

If your radiator is smoking or your car won’t run at all, chances are you are in a hurry to fix the problem. If you are in a rush to get your car to the shop, your judgment might be clouded; this may influence you to make a hasty decision based on needing your car back immediately, rather than saving money and receiving top-notch service.

Don’t choose based solely on price

While price may affect your choice, since you want an affordable rate, do not just opt for the cheapest choice. Do your research and compare. The cheapest rate may not always have the worst services; likewise, the most expensive might not offer the highest level of service.

Check online reviews

Your friends and family could have given you great advice about the repair shops that they have used, but they might not have covered all of your options or have had a major automobile issue that needed attention. Look at online reviews for unbiased consumers. Angie’s List has a wonderful forum where unbiased consumers share their experience about auto repair shops.

Tips for Choosing the Best Auto Repair Company to Fix Your Car

Our car performs the important function of driving us from one place to another in relative luxury and comfort, but a well-maintained vehicle does more than that; it keeps you safe on the road. A car can protect you and your family from external elements and road hazards. But sometimes, the danger comes from within and it is no one but the car owner’s fault. A vehicle that has been neglected and gone a long time without service is sure to have some malfunctioning components that can endanger the life of your family.

License and Certification

Besides shady auto repair services, a lot of people like cars and will offer you a bargain price to fix your vehicle. Don’t do it. You should only get your car fixed by a licensed and certified mechanic. When someone other than a qualified auto repair mechanic tinkers with your vehicle, it can void your warranty and can even lead to more problems in the future.

Visit the Staff

One of the best ways to reassure yourself that your car will be in good hands is to simply book a visitation appointment over the phone or through an email. During the visit, judge how the staff is treating you. If they are cordial and cooperative, it means your car will experience the same treatment. If they are impatient and rude, don’t trust them with your vehicle.

Check the Reviews

Word-of-mouth and referrals still remain the best form of organic advertising to this day. Now with the internet, it is getting easier and easier to see what others are saying about an organization. At PA Auto Inspection, we encourage our prospective customers to check out what our past customers are saying about us. Our review page is filled with honest testimonials of several happy customers who have had their cars fixed from us with very satisfactory results. You can also check out social media and Yelp reviews to see what people are saying about our service

Pricing

Although there is an industry standard for many types of auto repairs, they can vary a bit from mechanic to mechanic. When you are looking for a good automotive repair and service company, don’t be afraid to look around for the ones that give you the best price rather than settle for the first one you see.

Tips for Choosing a Car Repair Shop

Most people will always have a hard time deciding on which car shop to choose because a wrong choice can be costly. Some car repair shops are in business to take car parts that are new from their clients while they give the old and less efficient car parts. Those are the type of auto repair shops that you need to avoid by all means. This article provides you with essential tips that will enable you to find the right auto repair shop.

Do your Homework

Before choosing an auto repair shop, it is essential to make sure that you are well informed. Ask the people around what they think about the auto repair shop whose services you seek. They will always advise you accordingly. Apart from asking around for more information, you can always do your research on the internet.

Consider Online Reviews

Also, before choosing an auto repair shop, it is important to read online reviews. It is here where you will get all the hidden things that you might want to know about the shop. For instance, if there are people who used the services from the shop and they were dissatisfied for one reason or the other, you will get to know

The Reputation

Great auto shop repair companies will always have a good reputation. This is because they are dedicated to offering quality services to their clients. They know that if they fail to serve their clients right, they are not going to get many customers as they would have wished. Checking the online reviews will always tell you more about the reputation of the company.

Experience

When looking for car repair shops, it is a good idea that you choose the one that has a good experience. This is important because, through the experience of handling different cars, it means that they have skills that they can use to solve any problem. You would not want to give your precious car to people who might end up interfering with it one or the other.

Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop

Auto repairs are can be both costly and unavoidable. When the time comes that your vehicle needs service, you need to bring it to an auto repair shop, MD that’s reliable and trustworthy. After all, you spend a good amount of time in your car, you need to make sure whoever keeps it running keeps it running right!

1.  Ask friends and family for their recommendations. After all, it’s often their opinions that you value most, and unless asked directly, most people won’t offer their advice on their favorite shop or mechanic, it’s just not the most interesting topic!

2.  Choose an auto repair shop before major repairs are needed. It’s a lot easier to choose a shop without the pressure of needing immediate repairs. It also gives you time to better weigh your options.

3.  Pick a shop that employs ASE Certified Technicians. ASE Certified Technicians are mechanics who have gone through rigorous training and testing to be experts in their automotive fields. You can trust they will take good care of your automobile.

4.  Make sure the auto shop your choose works on your make and model of vehicle. Some repair shops are specialized, so be sure that the shop you choose has mechanics that are certified to work on your type of vehicle.

5.  See if the shop has transportation options available. In the case that a major repair arises, can the shop give you a lift back home or to the office? Many auto repair shops will accommodate your transportation needs (within reason), so be sure to call and ask if a free local shuttle service or loaner cars are available.

6.  Make sure the shop will honor your vehicle’s warranty. Most independent auto repair shops will honor vehicle warranties, but it’s too important of a topic not to ask directly.

7.  Ensure the shop guarantees their services. Nowadays, you should never choose a shop that does not stand behind the car repair or maintenance services they provide. Ask about the warranty options the shop provides.