One of the things that people spend the most money on and typically know the least about is cars and visits to the car mechanic. It’s easy to get ripped off if you don’t know what they’re doing or what it takes to fix the problem you’re having. However, with the right amount of confidence, you won’t feel pressured to have anything fixed that you’re not prepared to spend money on.
Here are four tips to ensure you stay ahead of shady mechanics.
1. See If You Can Talk To Someone Else
If you want to ensure that you don’t get ripped off by a mechanic but you’re stuck in a shop, see who else you can talk to. If your car has been towed somewhere and you don’t have a lot of options, it’s easy to feel like you’re stuck. However, if you’re clever and savvy, you can get yourself out of it.
Just see who else is at the shop that you might be able to talk to. Gauge whether or not you can tell them you’re having second thoughts and back out. Sometimes you need to get away from the person who feels pushy to get what you need.
2. Stop Before You Commit
If you’re at the point where it’s clear the mechanic is looking at you to commit, pump the breaks. Before things get out of hand, try to wiggle your way out of the situation. If it seems reasonable, tell them you already have a mechanic that you prefer to work with and that you want to see what they think.
Whatever you do, stop before you commit to working with that mechanic in a substantial way. In a lot of cases, once they’ve taken something apart or opened up the hood, they’re allowed to keep your car there until it’s fixed. In this case, they’re assured that they’re able to get what they’re owed since hour car might not even drive off the lot.
3. Ask Around for References
When you still have the option to get away from the mechanic, start talking to friends and colleagues about other options. If the car has been towed to a garage but nothing is happening with it yet, that’s your chance to ensure that you maintain control.
Get references and make a few phone calls. Having another option will free you up to feel safe moving the car you love to another shop.
4. Get a Warranty or Get Out
If the mechanic is being insistent and you feel trapped, you still have options. Get a warranty before they start doing any work at all.
If they won’t offer you a warranty to cover your newly fixed ride, then get out of there. You don’t need to work with anyone who doesn’t stand behind their own work.
A Car Mechanic Isn’t a Dictator
When you’re in the world of a car mechanic, it’s easy to feel disempowered. However, you need to remember that you’re the one that’s paying and the one that should feel in control.
If you want to keep your car running for a long time, follow our guide to getting the most out of yours.