Everyone hates to hear the “click click click” when they turn or see the dreaded “check engine” light appear on their vehicle because they know it’s time to take the car to the auto repair shop. And if you haven’t found a mechanic you trust, your number one thought could possibly be, “Am I getting ripped off from this auto shop?” …
Many people are leery of trusting just any mechanic. And unfortunately over the years, mechanics have gotten a bad wrap for over-charging. But the good news is that there are many mechanics out there who take pride in their work and want the best for you and your car, too. Being able to decipher the genuine from the others doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Really it is all about what you know…. and some of the shop’s credentials.
The number one way you can avoid getting the wool pulled over your eyes is to do research on your vehicle. The more you know about your vehicle, the better you are when it is time to take it to the shop. And the great news is that there are plenty of tools to help you school yourself up on your ride.
While it may be growing dust in your glove box, your owner’s manual could actually save you time and money! Yep, that’s right! That little book taking up space in the glove box holds a wealth of information. Knowing that information might not only help you diagnose the problem, it can also help you tell the mechanic you are working with exactly what part of your car is having a problem. Your Owner’s Manual is also what to follow as far as preventive maintenance; match up the shop’s recommendations with what your booklet says to do.
The more you know about your vehicle, the less likely you are to get swindled by someone who thinks you have no clue. For car owners the saying, “knowledge is power” definitely rings true.
The Repair Manual
Almost every auto parts store has a collection of repair manuals. To help you better understand what could be wrong with your vehicle, try purchasing the repair manual specifically for your car. This is an affordable way to get in the practice of learning more about your vehicle. Your local library should also carry them.
This, just like having the owner’s manual, will help you better diagnose the problem and will give you a better understanding of the ins and outs of your car. And if you take your car into the shop, you will be more aware of any extra or hidden fees they may be trying to add to your bill.
Is your car still under warranty? Is there a part on your car that has been recalled? These are great answers you need to discover before you ever take your car in for a repair. If something goes wrong with your vehicle and you are still under warranty, it will save you a lot of money. Your car may even have problems based on a recalled part. A reputable auto shop like Sallas will even tell you if it’s under warranty and advise you on how to get it fixed at the lowest cost to you.
Opinions for your Auto Repair
If you go into a shop and you are not satisfied with the estimated charges (and always remember to get an estimate before any work is ever done!) be sure to get a second opinion from another auto shop. For that matter, get a third or fourth opinion as well. It is so easy to get a second opinion. All you need to do is get your estimate itemized and then call around to other auto shops in the area.
A word to the wise though, if you call around to multiple shops and you stumble upon one whose estimate is too good to be true, be sure you double-check for hidden fees. Unfortunately, in some cases it is too good to be true. And always be sure to check the Better Business Bureau.
Look for a AAA – Approved Auto Repair Shop
Another designation to look for when it comes to finding an auto repair shop you can trust if AAA designation. Shops who can proudly display the AAA logo have met strict requirements – with one including customer feedback. Also ask to see if mechanics are ASE-certified, which shows commitment to training and best practices. Sallas Auto employes several ASE-certified technicians, and has been an AAA-approved shop in Kansas City for many years.