#1 Some Mechanics Use Scare Tactics
If you take your car to the mechanic for what seems like a minor problem, it is very likely that you will listen to their advice. Since they are the mechanics and you aren’t, they know cars more than you. If you talk to a mechanic who tells you that they wouldn’t drive another mile in your vehicle, chances are, it is a scare tactic. Your car may need work, however, it is unlikely that it is as serious as they want you to think. They just want your business.
#2 Check For Certifications Before You Let a Mechanic Work On Your Car
Most states require mechanics to have a license in order to make automobile repairs. Before you hire a mechanic, you should look for more than a license. It is best to work with a mechanic who holds a National Institute for Automotive Services Excellence certification or an America Automobile Association certification. If you are working with a reputable shop, these certifications will likely be proudly displayed on the wall.
#3 Ask Questions First
Before you hire a mechanic to work on your car, you should ask questions. This isn’t something that most mechanics want you to know because the time that it takes to speak to you is costing your money. Before letting them look under your hood, you should find out how long they have been in business, what certification and licenses they have, and what type of warranties they offer. The more questions you ask, the more confident you will feel about the person working on your vehicle.
#4 Never Sign a Blank Authorization Form
There are some mechanics who will ask you to fill out a blank authorization form when you drop off your vehicle. This would give the mechanic permission to fix any issues they find. This is not something that you should sign. You should always get a work order with the specific repairs that will need to be made along with a specific estimate. The order should also include any warranties on the work. If you give your mechanic carte blanche to repair whatever they want, you could end up with a bill that you cannot afford.
#5 Does the Mechanic Have a Scan Tool and an Engine Analyzer?
If you are taking your car to the mechanic for engine trouble, you should make sure that they have an engine analyzer and a scan tool. If the mechanic tells you that they don’t need any fancy equipment to repair your car, you should find another mechanic. A good mechanic knows that this type of special equipment is necessary for proper engine repair.
#6 Synthetic Oil Costs More
If you are going in for an oil change, the mechanic might offer you the option of using synthetic oil. They will tell you that it is better for your vehicle. They will also tell you that you can get a lot more miles between oil changes. What they might not tell you is that synthetic oil is significantly more expensive than regular motor oil. If they don’t tell you up front, you can end up getting an unwelcome surprise when it comes time to pay for the oil change. Since you cannot back out once the job is done, you can end up paying more than you intended for your oil change.
#7 Don’t Tell the Mechanic That They Are Giving You a Second Opinion
If you took your vehicle to a mechanic and you got a diagnosis, you might want to go see a mechanic for a second opinion. If this is something that you are planning to do, you shouldn’t tell the mechanic that they are giving you a second opinion. You also shouldn’t tell them the price or the diagnosis that the previous mechanic gave you. Let the mechanic check out your vehicle on their own and come up with their diagnosis and price. This will give you the most information to make the best decision possible.
#8 Coolant and Power Steering Flushes Are Not Always Necessary
When you go to a quick lube mechanic, they will offer you a variety of services that you likely don’t need. One common quick lube gimmick is having your power steering fluid and your coolant flushed. Most cars are designed to drive 100,000 before these things need to be done. Also, cleaning your fuel injectors is a waste of money. There are plenty of additives available that provide the same results and you can do it on your own.
#9 Free Lifetime Mufflers
If you are having muffler problems, there are many mechanics who offer free lifetime muffler replacement. Since nothing on a car lasts forever, this makes no sense. These mechanics will give you free replacements, however, you will pay a lot of money in expensive pipe repairs. You should try not to read too much into lifetime mufflers when you see the advertisements.
#10 Ask About the Tire’s Build Date
Of the 10 secrets your car mechanic won’t tell you, this secret is the most common. Just because a tire has been in the showroom and it hasn’t been driven on, it doesn’t mean that it is going to be safe. Many drivers think that they are getting a great deal, when in fact, they are getting an old tire. If the treads are three years old, the tires might not be safe to drive in the snow. When you buy your tires, you should ask the mechanic for the tire’s build date. This will ensure that you are getting a strong, dependable tire.