In an ideal situation, your mechanic ensures your car stays in good working condition but because he wants to keep on making money off you, there are car secrets your mechanic will not share with you. Such information would probably reduce the frequency with which you visit the mechanic’s workshop but since you do not know these things, it will be business as usual for the mechanic.
For instance, your mechanic might scare you into believing you need to carry out certain services on your car whereas such services don’t have a significant effect on your car’s performance. Below are other secrets your mechanic might not be sharing with you.
1. Simple Repairs
Some repairs are simpler to carry out than you think. However, it is not to the benefit of your mechanic to tell you this. If you don’t know this already, your mechanic goes ahead to work off the cost of parts and administrative charges.
2. Get a Second Opinion
Your mechanic normally gives you an estimate before commencing repairs. Sometimes, these estimates may seem on the high side to you but since it’s not your speciality, your mechanic will have his way. Other times, the mechanic tries to cow you to submission by telling you he has already taken the engine apart. The truth is that if you could drive the car into the shop for him to check, you should be able to drive it out to seek a second opinion.
It is best you get a second opinion at another shop if you don’t trust your mechanic entirely. Getting a second opinion is necessary if you are about to carry out a major repair. You may likely have to spend some extra cash getting this additional estimate but in the end, it may help you save a few thousands.
But, when is the right time to seek a second opinion? If you have to cough out more than N60,000 naira for repairs, it could help to get a second opinion.
3. Rebuilt Parts can be as good as New and Less Expensive
Your mechanic won’t tell you that you can save money by replacing a part on your car by buying a used part. He will wait for you to make the suggestion. If not, he will give you the estimate for new parts.
However, it is not all the time that a used part is advisable. Though it can save you some money, sometimes it is not the answer. It may not exactly fit the purpose of the repair.
4. ‘Your Car is Too Sophisticated for Me’
While cars have increasingly become more high-tech these days, not many mechanics have kept up with the advancement. Dealerships are sometimes advised by manufacturers to acquire expensive diagnostic equipment that will pinpoint the source of computer problems. This suggests that their technicians will more likely be factory-trained in the affected areas.
However, not all mechanics are trained for the kind of technology that most modern cars possess. The independent mechanics are even worst hit because of the cost of upgrading themselves.
In a situation where you take your sophisticated ride for repairs/servicing, not all the mechanics will tell you that they don’t have the knowledge to handle your car.
5. The Less You Know About Your Warranty, the Better
Not knowing about your warranty is good for a repair shop. Come to think of it, it is not the duty of an independent mechanic to tell you about your warranty, because he gets to charge you for the repair if you don’t know it is still under warranty.
Dealership warranty works in a certain way. If you get your car repaired somewhere while under warranty and the car develops a fault as a result of that repair, the dealership is no longer obligated to cover the cost of fixing the problem.
6. You Might be Charged for Work Not Done
Sometimes, your mechanic can give you a bill for repairs not done. It could be on purpose. It could even be done mistakenly. For instance, you have a list of things to change when you dropped the car. Then the job was assigned to another mechanic who wasn’t around when you dropped the car off.
The new handler may end up fixing your fuel injection system, belts and carburettor but neglecting the oil change. The job neglected will still be added to your invoice. One way to stop this is to ask for the old parts of whatever was changed. You could also place a list on the steering wheel to remind the mechanic.
7. ‘I Make Unnecessary Repairs’
When you drop your car at the repair shop for fixing, the mechanic may end up touching different parts of the car that are not related to the main problem. He may end up fixing and changing a lot of parts just to find a way to solve a problem that he can’t readily detect. This guesswork will end up causing you a lot. But your mechanic won’t tell you about the unnecessary repairs.
8. ‘I May Send Your Car Elsewhere’
Imagine you have a chain of repairs to carry out on your car at the same time. The battery needs to replaced, the ignition has to be checked, and the fuel injection system and the headlamps require attention as well. Some mechanics may not be able to perform all the tasks and may think it pays to outsource the repairs to another shop. This definitely will reflect on the final price of the charge, as you mechanic has to add his cut to it.
9. ‘This Could Be the Wrong Garage’
No doubt, a couple of honest mechanics will tell you that their garage is the wrong place for the kind of fault your car has. However, to find an honest mechanic is like one out of a hundred thousand. The others will claim a jack-of-all-trades stance and deliver your car worse than it came into their workshop.
10. You Should Find a New Mechanic
The only way a mechanic can keep his business going is to have a pool of returning customers. Even when they are mediocre at what they do, they won’t tell you that. It is best to try another mechanic yourself and compare expertise and prices.