While many of us like to think that we know what happens under our car bonnet, the reality is that we have a vague idea at best. We may be able to tell what is wrong, but we don’t know how to fix it. We know our cars well enough to know when something is wrong, sounds different, or may not be working as well as it should. Having a car mechanic you can trust is key to feeling confident that when you take your car in to be checked and repaired you are not getting ripped off or sold parts that you don’t really need. Most importantly you need to be sure that your car is safe to be on the road and will not cause an accident. So how do you make sure that you can trust your mechanic to be honest and do a good job? We take a look at key things to look out for when talking to you mechanic.
Do your homework
There are plenty of forums and car clubs that will offer advice on how to tackle a particular problem if you know what the fault may be. This will give you a head start on that initial conversation with your car mechanic. They can also offer some guidance on potential costs so you have a ballpark in mind. You can also check online reviews and recommendations for information on mechanics in your area.
Particularly important if repairs are likely to be costly or extensive, it is worth getting at least three quotes as prices can vary substantially. Separate out the cost of parts versus labour and check whether labour is charged on an hourly basis or for the job as a whole. Does the cost include VAT? While a quote legally has to include VAT, it can be overlooked so make sure to ask as it can add on quite a bit if the job is big.
Asking for permission to proceed
You may have taken your car in for its regular MOT or service and something comes up. It’s not unusual, but you also don’t want the mechanic to proceed with a big repair without checking with you first. You can set a maximum limit of what they can do – such as replace light bulbs or change wipers – but for any larger jobs such as new brake pads they know to consult you before proceeding.
Ask for proof
If they tell you something is wrong, ask to see proof of the fault. If they refuse, ask for a second opinion so that you are sure of what is being said.
Can you watch?
Many garages will let you observe while they get on with the work. It’s easier for them to show you if they find something wrong as well.
Use your instinct
We often overlook our gut instinct when it tells us something doesn’t feel right. Use your intuition – if it doesn’t feel right, go elsewhere.
For mechanics you can trust with a long track record of keeping cars safe on the road, talk to us at Bromley Garage Services. Call us on 020 8460 6666 to book an appointment and we will get you back on the road quickly and without any hassle.