When money is tight, it's critical that you look closely at any major expenses you undertake. Getting your car maintained and fixed is one such expense, and it makes sense to tread carefully. Although most mechanics are committed to providing their customers with a high level of service, there are definitely some people working in this industry who are willing to take advantage of uneducated auto owners. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to everything that your mechanic suggests, and you should also ensure that you get an estimate before any work begins.
How can I Tell if My Mechanic is Unethical?
If the auto shop performs unnecessary repairs or charges you a higher than necessary rate, they are not operating in an ethical manner. Fortunately, there are typically telltale signs that an auto repair company is not interested in providing you with the best service for a fair price.
For example, if they try to convince you to let them begin work before they give you an estimate, you should definitely look at this is a red flag. After all, this will give them the opportunity to charge you basically anything they want because you will not have anything in writing that stipulates approximately how much your total charge should be.
Additionally, it is important to question any seemingly superfluous repairs that they attempt to tack on while your vehicle is in the shop. You should also ensure that the service providers are A.S.E. certified before you let them touch your vehicle. Keep in mind that it is now possible to look online for reviews before you go to a local mechanic, and this can help prevent you from ending up in a bad situation.
What if the Mechanic Makes a Mistake?
Sadly, whether it is done intentionally or not, mechanics can make mistakes that could end up putting your life in danger. For example, if you get a new tire put on, it is possible that the lug nuts might not be tightened properly and this could cause the tire to come off while you are driving.
Issues like this can lead to serious car accidents, and it is likely that at least a few of the almost 1,300 annual car accident fatalities that happen in Georgia are caused by a mechanic's negligence.
Unfortunately, problems like this one can become exacerbated by the heavy level of traffic in major areas such as Atlanta. Law firms handle cases like these on a regular basis. Because a mistake is always a possibility, you should retain a copy of everything that the mechanic gives you, including the original estimate, until you have safely driven the vehicle for at least a few months.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your mechanic is not wasting your money is to take the time to get at least two estimates. However, if you are in a position where this is not possible, it is definitely a good idea to consider doing some research on the Internet to determine whether or not the issue that your car is having would be impacted by each of the items that the mechanic has indicated need to be repaired. It is also important to remember that some common issues such as a dead battery can often be solved without needing to purchase a replacement.