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No Monkey Business Allowed Here!- Steps for Choosing a Mechanic


You know there is a strange noise coming from under the hood of your car. You don’t know what it is or how to fix it.  You rarely have car problems, so where will you take your vehicle to be fixed?  How do you know who to trust with your car?  

Here is a quick list of questions you may want to remember to ask your mechanics before you choose: How much is your hourly rate? When could you fit me in? What do you think is wrong? How long would this take?  Do I have a warranty on the work that you complete? Do you give me the parts back that you replace?  

In comparing the hourly wages, this is good to know if your repair is a large one.  There are repair shops that charge from $30 to $60 per hour.  If you have a major repair that will take two days, you need to know how much you will need to pay just in labor, and how much you can save in labor, when you are choosing a garage to fix your vehicle.  

Regarding ‘When can you fit me in?’ – depending on how far you are from the garage, when you can drop off the car, when you are available to pick up the car, and how long you are going to be with out a vehicle – knowing when the vehicle can be fixed will play a major role in how you are going to get to work, get to the store, and how long you have to wait and drive the car this while it is not working properly.  Sometimes the longer you drive the car, the worse the problem can get if you are not careful in determining what is actually wrong with the vehicle.  

The dreaded question: What do you think is wrong? The mechanic or the person on the other end of the phone line can guess, but there are times when they are wrong.  Giving your best description of the noise, what is happening in your vehicle, then the mechanic is able to give you a best ‘guess’. It is difficult to explain what is wrong with the car, and sometimes it can be even more difficult in guessing what is wrong with the car.  If you have the chance for a free inspection to determine what is wrong with the car that would be your best bet before committing to one repair garage.  

Determining how long the repairs will take, usually are determined after the mechanic actually figures out what is wrong with your vehicle.  When you do ask, how long will it take, you may get an estimate but that will be based on it is that ‘guess’ of what is wrong with your car until they actual get to see it.  Although there is often times when you are talking to the garage and they can tell you exactly what is wrong on the phone, be prepared that sometimes they cannot.  

A mechanic will most often offer you the warranty that is offered on the part but not often will you get more unless you are having a major over haul completed on your car.  When a major repair has been completed on your car there are most often a warranty, which the mechanic will tell you more in detail about. Always remember to ask for the part that was taken out of your car if you want to inspect what was wrong with the car, and to be sure that the actual parts were replaced.  In some states it is a law that the replaced parts be made available for your inspection.


Also see

Your Car's Mechanical Condition

Putting the Stop to Your Brakes -is your car exhibiting any of this potential warning signs?  Find out more.

Oil Change Every 3000 Miles - Good Advice or Just a Sales Pitch? -do you really need to change your oil every 3000 miles?  The answer may surprise you.

Best Auto Repair Manuals for the Do-It-Yourselfer -are you the fix-it-yourself type?  Find great sources for your manuals.

Don't Let your Mechanic Take you to the Cleaners -more tips for choosing a trustworthy mechanic.




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