It seems as if you always read about people who have been “taken” from a repair shop. Not all shops are bad but many times you only hear the negatives and not the positives. I am an auto mechanic and like to help people save money and also to be informed so they know they are not being robbed. I have seen times where shops have told people they replaced a part when all they did was cleaned it to make it look newer. I will explain how you can decipher between a good shop and a bad one.
If you are not mechanically inclined you can easily be taken from an auto shop, you do not need to worry as my guide will show you what to look for to be sure your money is being spent properly. One thing you want to watch for is when you are told a part is faulty, make sure the mechanic explains to you why it is bad. A good shop will be more than happy to explain to you what is wrong, while an untrustworthy shop will try to jump around the answer to why it’s bad. If they tell you your radiator has a leak or something else to that nature have them show you where its leaking. I once saw an issue where a customer came in with a coolant leak which they said a shop told them the radiator was leaking but would not show them so they decided to have a second opinion. I found the issue was a broken hose clamp which was causing the coolant under pressure to leak around the radiator. The cost to repair was under $30. All that was needed was a gallon of coolant, a hose clamp, and fifteen minutes of labor to diagnose and fix the problem. The replacement of the radiator would have fixed the issue due to the fact they would have replaced the hose clamp.
Another thing you need to watch for is if the shop has any kind of guarantee on their services. Most good shops will give a guarantee to assure you that you have nothing to worry about. If you have had a repair done and the same issue is still occurring do not take your vehicle to another shop to have it diagnosed as you will spend more money which in most cases the shop will do the work for free if found they did not diagnose is correctly or something happened from the repair they performed. I have seen a few times where people have had brakes done at a shop then take it to another and they end up paying twice for the service due to the first place not performing the work correctly, which the original shop would have fixed for free if the vehicle was taken back to them. If on the other hand the shop who did the work is not willing to take responsibility of their faults then you should have a second opinion on your issue and if found it’s the original shops fault then you can contact the service manager or owner of the shop and in many cases the work done at the other shop will be paid for.
If you are still unsure a shop is reliable check to see if they are a member of the better business bureau and if they have any complaints against them or good reviews. Also make sure they give you the old parts when the service is done, this will assure they did not just clean the part and reuse. You can also try using a site such as just answer and tell them your issue and what you were told was faulty, the technicians on that site will assist you in determining if you are being robbed or not. You will pay a small fee for this service but will be worthwhile to make sure the shop is reasonable or not. If you are looking for ways to save money repairing your automobile check out my other write ups or leave me a message and I will write something up to assist you.