get an honest deal on vehicle repair with some basic auto knowledge
Having a vehicle in need of repair stinks. While some of us may have the skills to make minor repairs, it is almost inevitable that at some point you will have to take your car or truck to a professional for service. This can prove to be quite a sticky situation considering that most of us are unaware of the inner workings and best-practice standards of the automotive repair industry.
This guide on how to get an honest deal on vehicle repair will provide a few tips on how to ensure that you are getting a fair deal the next time that your vehicle is in need of repair.
Ask a Professional
If you have any friends, relatives or acquaintances in the automotive industry it is a good idea run by them what repairs need to be done what price you have been quoted. This is usually a simple task because any person experienced in auto repair will usually know how many hours a job takes as well as the price of any new or refurbished parts that are needed.
This gives you the benefit of professional advice from someone who does not stand to gain anything from upselling you.
Once you have received the results of a vehicle diagnostic you will then be able to contact other repair shops to ask what they would charge for those repairs on your type of vehicle. While most shops are not able to give an actual estimate without performing their own diagnostic, they can usually give a ballpark range of what most repairs will cost on most types of vehicle.
Ask for an Itemized Repair Estimate
Once you have an itemized estimate you will then be able to research the cost of aftermarket car parts. This will give you an idea of the kind of markup the shop is charging. You can also calculate the cost of labor per hour and compare that with other shops in the area.
Do Your Research
This one may seem obvious but is worth mentioning. It is important to gather all of the customer reviews you can as most disreputable repair shops survive off of first time customers for obvious reasons. Reviews for auto repair shops can be found on the usual business review sites such as Yelp and Angie?s List as well as industry specific sites like Edmunds.
While some repair shops will not negotiate an estimate some will, so it certainly worth trying.
You can also save money in many cases by requesting that they use refurbished or ?after market? parts. Refurbished parts are usually pulled from wrecked vehicles and repaired for re-use in other vehicles, while after ?after market? parts are manufactured by a company other than the auto maker and are therefore usually available at a lower cost. An itemized repair estimate will usually list the price of repair if new parts are used, so you will usually have to ask if there are any cheaper options. Most repair shops have a working relationship with junkyards or companies that deal in after market parts.
While some these tips may not apply to certain specific circumstances, this should give you the basic information you need to make your next auto repair transaction to go smoothly. While most auto repair professionals are honest and helpful it is important to protect yourself against those who would take advantage of a consumer?s lack of knowledge.