A car is an expensive investment, and plays a vital role in the day to day lives of many people. Keeping your car in good condition is essential to making sure your vehicle is safe, and performs at its best for as long as possible. Read on for our tips on choosing and dealing with your mechanic.
Do Your Research Beforehand
Word of mouth is super important in this industry, so talk to your family and friends to see if they have a recommendation for a local mechanic, especially if they have a similar make or model of car. If you’re new to an area you can also take a look at online reviews, or check with the relevant local governing body to see if they can provide any recommendations.
Actually visiting the mechanic’s shop before committing to taking your vehicle there can be a great way to suss out whether or not it’s the right place for you. Your mechanic should be fully licensed and have their credentials easily viewable in the shop. The work area should be clean and tidy, and the people you speak to should be professional and friendly. A busy store can also be a good sign that the mechanic has many happy customers.
Ask for a Written Quote
Whether you’re getting a standard service, some urgent repairs, or a full car detail, make sure you get everything in writing so there can’t be any discrepancy between what work you think you’re getting done, and the final invoice. Your quote should be detailed and include an itemised list of the work to be carried out, along with the expected cost. Clearly communicate to the mechanic what you’re after, and reiterate that you don’t want any extra work carried out unless they contact you and you sign off on the extra work and cost first.
Now is also the time to check the store’s warranty policy on the work and parts they use. Again, get this in writing and clarify if the warranty is for everything, or if it is broken down. Different parts from different manufacturers may have separate warranties.
Keep All Records
Once the work is done, get a final and complete itemised invoice of all the work carried out. Make sure you understand everything that was done. If anything is written in jargon, or you’re not entirely sure what a particular cost is for, clarify with the mechanic and ask them to explain what they did in plain English. This is important for two reasons. If anything goes wrong with the car shortly after the service, you’ll want to know exactly what work was done. If something has failed with the work or parts the mechanic used, you may be entitled to reimbursement or follow up work under the warranty.
Secondly, if you move or change mechanics it’s important to have detailed records of the work carried out on your car for your new mechanic. Keep all your records in a safe and secure place.