If you are like most people, the thought of bringing your vehicle in for repair work is nearly as scary as heading to your dentist to get a root canal. They do have one thing in common, both procedures are expensive and time-consuming.
The next time you are taking in your favorite ride, here are 5 things to be on the lookout for, especially if you are visiting a new repair shop.
Never Sign a Blank Work Order
Signing a blank work order is like handing someone a blank check that you have already signed. It gives the repair shop the ability to order and perform unlimited repairs on your car with your full consent. Before signing any work order, review the document with a representative and do not be afraid to ask questions like whether a repair they have recommended is really needed. Otherwise, you are agreeing to pay for whatever work they decide to add to your work order at their discretion.
Schedule Your Appointment in the Early Part of the Week
It is human nature to want to get out of work to start the weekend as early as possible. By scheduling your car to be looked at earlier in work week, you will avoid having your car serviced by someone that is watching the clock until their shift ends on a Friday or Saturday in a bid to get to some time off. If you are having work like a windshield replacement completed, you want to be sure the work is done right and not rushed through.
Be Wary of Dire Warnings
Some underhanded mechanics may try to use dire warnings in an effort to upsell you unneeded repairs. Before freaking out and going along with their ploy to make more money off of your visit, tell them you want to get a second opinion from another mechanic. The chances are good that another mechanic probably will not confirm the emergency repair work the first mechanic recommended not waiting another minute for.
Do Not Fall for Prices That Are Too Good to Be True
There is no doubt that everyone is looking for the best deals on car repairs that they can find, but you should be wary of repair pricing that is too good to be true. Even the best mechanics need to make some amount of money off of their work, so this might be viewed as a bait and switch tactic to lure customers in with the promise of a low-cost repair, but them gouge them with unneeded or more expensive repair jobs while they are at the shop.
Have a Mechanic Test Drive Your Car First
For most repair shops, there is nothing wrong with asking your technician to test drive your vehicle before inspecting the car for problems. In many cases, a skilled repair technician can get a good idea of what might be wrong with the car after taking it for a quick drive around the block first.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against being overcharged for unneeded repairs is by using your common sense. If you have owned your car for a while, the chances are good that you can sense when something is not running as it normally does. If you are unhappy with what one repair shop has told you, get a second opinion from another unaffiliated garage without telling them about the first diagnosis or estimate first. You may be surprised with the findings!