Just like any other industry, the auto repair business can be a hit or miss with scams. Although we would like to think most mechanics are honest, it still doesn’t hurt to keep our guards up for ones that are a bit sketchy. Here are five important tips to consider when looking for the perfect shop so you don’t end up getting ripped off.
Knowledge is definitely power when it comes to getting your car serviced at any auto shop. The more you know your car, then you’re less likely to get scammed. Take the time to go over your car manual and know the basic needs for your car like type of oil, fluids, filters, parts, tires, etc. It also helps to keep a record of past documents like invoices and receipts for needed reference.
Ask for referrals and read reviews on potential auto shops that have a good reputation. The last place you want your car is at a sketchy car shop. You want your car to be in good, trusting hands. In addition, be sure to look for legitimate certificates and licenses that should be openly displayed in their shop.
If you’re scoping out a shop for the first time, start with a small service. Consider this a trial run! This is a chance for you to get a feel of their staff and facility. Is their shop clean and professional? Is their customer service friendly? Remember to trust your gut!
Be confident and ask the right questions. It’s important to remember that you’re investing lots of money in services and repairs, so you want to be sure your car will be taken care of. If it helps, you can bring along a friend if you feel a bit intimidated.
If you have a feeling that a mechanic is being unprofessional or dishonest, don’t be afraid to take your patronage somewhere else. You can also get a second opinion from another shop to verify. Never put your money in a shop you are not comfortable with.