This post is in collaboration with Switched on Media
Yes, I have been ripped off by a mechanic a number of times in my life, my lack of knowledge taken advantage of and lack of confidence to ask the right questions. It often seems to happen with women too and that’s just not fair. Don’t get me wrong, not all mechanics are like this, but unfortunately, there are a few lemons.
So next time your SUV, hatchback, sedan or ‘Mums Taxi’ is due for a service, follow these tips:
Use a reputable mechanic
Select a reputable mechanic. Perhaps it’s someone your friend or family have used with good results or they are part of your local Auto Association like RACQ or RACV.
Know what’s due
Make sure you have a good idea of what service items are due at your next service. You can do this by checking your log book.
Look out for surprise extras
If any extra work is ever required on your car, the mechanic should always check with you first before carrying it out. Make sure you check your invoice for any surprise extras before paying.
Know your car
By paying close attention to your car you will have a better idea if the mechanic is trying to sell you things that your car may not need. For example, if you’ve never seen any oil leaks on the floor of your garage but your mechanic says you have an oil leak, an alarm bell might ring. The same as a mechanic suggesting a wheel alignment when you already had one less than 10,000km ago. Read my article ‘A Dummies Guide to Car Maintenance’ for some tips on what to look out for.
Get a second opinion
Always ask for a written quote and get a second opinion. Shop around, get a third or fourth opinion if it makes you feel better. A bit of time on the phone could avoid you having to pay a lot more than you need to.
It’s a well-known fact that women are targeted by some mechanics, go in with confidence and be on guard for anything that seems dodgy and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
When it comes to car warranties, if your mechanic tries pointing out what it does and does not cover, if in doubt always contact your local Consumer Affairs department.
Trust your gut instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t use the mechanic.
It’s not a nice feeling when you’re ripped off and feel like you don’t have the knowledge to know any better. Well don’t worry about that, simply follow these tips and you’ll end up with more money in your pocket and increased confidence when it comes to your next service.
Have you ever had any bad experiences? What’s your advice?
Looking for car insurance? Check out my Youi car insurance review.