You wouldn’t undertake a major home repair without getting estimates; the same holds true for when you need a mechanic. The steps that you take for finding either are quite similar. Start by asking friends and family for referrals of the mechanic they use. Then, check the Internet for comments from customers and reviews on websites such as Yelp.com, Kudzu.com or Google. Next, ask if you can visit the shop. A trusted mechanic will welcome your visit and be happy to answer your questions. Just like a clean home is a happy home, so is a clean auto repair shop.
Nine out of ten women believe they are treated differently than a man when they bring their vehicle to the shop according to the Car Care Council. How can you be the one out of ten? Find a mechanic and build a business relationship before you need to take your car in for service.
Regardless of your gender, keep these tips in mind before taking a vehicle to the mechanic:
• Diagnose the problem yourself with a CarMD tool. The device sells for about $99 and can be purchased at many auto parts stores. Plug it into your car and the device will read the car’s computer codes and offer a standard diagnosis. It will also suggest parts, estimate part prices and list recalls on parts. Please note, however the standard diagnosis is not the same diagnosis that a certified auto repair shop can make. Getting a standard diagnosis can be like going to the doctor who tells you that you have a cold. A comprehensive diagnosis would be like going to the doctor who tells you that you have a cold because you have a low iron levels. There’
• Read the owner’s manual. Learn about typical repairs for your vehicle and recommended service intervals. This will help guide your conversation with the mechanic.
• Ask specific questions of the mechanic. It is your vehicle and your money. Having a clear understanding of the repairs will help decrease the stress of having the car in the shop. A quality auto repair mechanic will be happy to show you the difference between what a good brake looks like and a bad one and compare it to what your brakes look like.
• Be specific when describing the problem. For example, if the car only squeals and squeaks when you go around corners or only pulls to the left when you’re under 10 miles per hour, let them know. Specifics will make it easier for the technician to diagnose the problem and cut down on your repair bill.
• Certification and training matter – When selecting a mechanic, make sure the technicians carry ASE certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
• Call a dealership and find out if the repair is covered under a warranty. If it is you may be able to save some money. Inquire at other shops and keep in mind the cheapest isn’t always the best quality. You may find a shop that can do warranty repairs and this could also save money. Not sure about the quote? Check to see if your mechanic is quoting a fair price.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A trusted and certified mechanic will take time to answer questions and explain the repairs. Consider your questions as part of the repair service; the mechanic does not expect you to know everything about the vehicle. Keeping these tips in mind will help you not get taken for a ride the next time your vehicle needs maintenance.
# # #
About Bridgewater MOTORWORKS:
Since 1998, AAA Approved, Bridgewater MOTORWORKS has provided full service automotive repair and service to residents of Somerset County, New Jersey, and the surrounding New York and New Jersey State Areas. Bridgewater MOTORWORKS offers engine, and transmission replacement and general repair services for all vehicles. And they are the preferred auto service and repair provider for Somerset Medical Center Emergency Medical Services.
Bridgewater MOTORWORKS also features an Express Lube where customers can get their oil changed in as little as 15 minutes.
They are located at 358 Union Ave. in Bridgewater, New Jersey, telephone number (908) 218-9100. For more information go to http://www.bwmotorworks.com.