Taking the car to the mechanic is a bit like going to the dentist: you never know what to expect, especially when you have to pay the bill. Here are ten practical tips to avoid nasty surprises even if you think that the only type of candle in the world is only that of wax.
Choose an Authorized Workshop
The first step is to choose the right workshop. By “right” here we basically mean that relating to one of these types: that of your trusted mechanic, whom you have known for years and on whose honesty, you would be bridged to swear, or a workshop authorized by the “parent company”.
The second case is definitely advisable if you have to carry out interventions such as the service or if your machine (or some of its components replaced previously) are still covered by the warranty.
In this second case, it is like going to an authorized workshop but, often, managing to save a few dollars.
Assess the Hypothesis of a Multifunctional Workshop
The other choice to be made at the start is if the machine has a complex problem. Maybe after an accident, the body parts, the control unit, and the engine were damaged.
Clearly relying on a large and multifunctional workshop can lower the costs of repair, without seeing your machine tossed between several mechanics with various transfers that would inflate the final expense.
Always Ask and Compare At Least Two Quotes
As soon as the machine is brought to the workshop and the mechanic explained the problem, ask him for a repair quote. If you cannot find out in advance because the “diagnosis” is complex, remind him to let you know immediately about the situation.
The idea is then to have more than one quote: if you do not want to take the car around workshops you can always call, explaining what the problem should be and then making a comparison between the proposals.
The quote could also be made for the analysis of the fault: disassembling half the machine to understand where the problem is could in fact cost you labor. Also, in this case, it is better to clarify in advance.
No Intervention Without Authorization
Once the diagnosis has been received, it is your right to refuse the mechanic’s intervention in whole or in part because the explanation may not have convinced you or the price may be too high.
Refusing is your right, although you may be forced, as explained above, to pay the mechanic if the “diagnosis” has involved particular work (for example, dismantling part of the machine).
Ask for Original Spare Parts
In the vast majority of cases, it is always advisable to have the “broken” parts of the machine replaced with original material. The type of component, the brand, and the price should always be indicated on the invoice.
Check the Repair Scrupulously
At the end of the repair ask the mechanic to explain what has been done on your vehicle and show the replaced parts. Even if you are not an expert, you will at least be aware of what has been done on your car.
Not to mention that if the mechanic does not show you the changed parts he gives the old ones, you may not even pay the invoice, in part or in full.
Ask for The Invoice and Check the Rate
At the end of the repair always ask for the invoice. In addition to being necessary for tax matters, the invoice also acts as a guarantee if the repair proves to be imperfect or even out of place or non-existent.
Also, check the price of spare parts on the invoice and compare it with that of the manufacturers, evaluating the possible surcharge.
Contact Consumers and Legal Associations
Even if you have taken all the necessary precautions, do you feel cheated? Do not hesitate to contact the Consumer Associations, who can offer advice, even legal, often free of charge.
To extremely ill then, bad remedies, that is to say, whether to file a complaint with the assistance of a lawyer if the economic damage is significant or, given that the machine parts are concerned, if the game is worth – it is appropriate to say it … – the candle
If Possible, Do It Yourself
One way to not be swindled by the mechanic is … don’t go there: some small repairs can also be carried out on your own without having to turn into new Henry Ford.
Changing the bulb of light or a fuse are feasible operations without excessive problems by getting the right information and buying the spare parts in person.
Especially if you don’t have “trusted” mechanics, you could save several euros and learn something useful.
Consult the Internet
It may seem like a “partisan” suggestion, but often on the web, you can find reviews, opinions, or other information on the quality of the workshops or on the prices charged. An hour on the computer could, therefore, save you several dollars.