11 Tips for Outsmarting a Mechanic

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Mechanics are a godsend if you don’t know how to repair and maintain your car’s engine, electrical, and mechanical components. However, some mechanics are just after your money. So, how can you outsmart them? Here are 11 tips. 

Tell Them You Want to Keep the Old Part

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Mechanics will have you thinking they changed an old part when they didn’t. Therefore, “ask for the broken originals. If they can’t pull it from the trash, they didn’t even change it.”

Mark Your Air Filter

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A poster says, “Write something on your air filter. It’s one of the more common money-making scams at Jiffy-Lube-type places. They walk in with a filthy air filter and claim it’s yours.”

Ask Online Forums for Recommendations

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The majority of people found their favorite garages through recommendations, so why not give it a try? You can ask your friends or “join a local area’s buy and sell trade group on FB.” These groups will help you avoid fraudster mechanics. 

One user reports that this tactic works, “I did this once in a city I lived in and got 13 replies: 7 of those were for one place, so I went with that one. They were pretty good and didn’t rip me off.”  

Try and Stick to the Same Garage

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A mechanic recommends sticking to the same garage as “loyalty, a packet of sweets, or cakes go a long way.” The goodies are just a token of appreciation even though you pay them to work. 

Ask for a Call Before Repairs Are Done

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Moreover, ask the mechanic to call you before starting the repairs and request a price upfront. Also, “always get an invoice and never pay cash.”

Learn How Things Work

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You don’t need to be a car guru, but learning the basics can definitely make a shady mechanic think twice. One user recommends, “Google your symptoms to get a probable diagnosis, then take 15 minutes to watch the YouTube of the repair.” 

Get a Second Opinion

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Getting a second opinion does not hurt and can save you money if you feel like the mechanic is scamming you. 

Ask to Show You the Issue

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Honest mechanics will outright show you where your car needs fixing and won’t mind if you stay close while it is being fixed. If your mechanic spills difficult words on you, ask them to explain and show you the problem slowly. 

Ask the Order of Importance for Work to Be Done

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“A knowledgeable mechanic should be able to explain the issues to you and tell how severe they are and what will happen if you don’t do the work. Keep an eye out for those always listing the most expensive work as the most important,” cautions a user. 

However, always take their advice with a grain of salt. Remember, you always have the option to get a second opinion first. 

Buy Your Air Filter Online

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If your car’s air filters need changing, buy them online rather than risk paying high markups. 

Tell Them You Are on a Budget

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Also, tell your mechanic you are on a budget, considering the expenses can go overboard. “Remember, a quote is just a quote and more than likely, it will cost you a little more, so ask for a worst-case scenario,” advises a mechanic. 

Source: Reddit
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