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How To Get Better Service From a Mechanic

Customer talking to a mechanic
Rob Mattingley/Getty Images

I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, it’s never any fun when you have to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have it serviced. It can also be a very stressful time for those of us lacking in the “car smarts” department.

You really need to find a mechanic you can trust, because practically everything on a car these days is computerized.

So what can a person do to make the car repair experience a little more pleasurable and hopefully prevent getting ripped off?

The experts say start by doing the following four things:



Communicate the problem.



Give as many details as you possible can. Don’t just tell your mechanic “Something sounds funny.” Be as specific as possible. Write down a list of symptoms. Describe smells, sounds, and feels. Make sure you note the last time you had your car serviced.



Be realistic.



Most of us expect mechanics to be miracle workers. If you want your car to be repaired right, be patient and be prepared to pay. If you wanted it fixed cheap, be ready to bring it back a week later.



Make sure your vehicle is clean.



Chances are you probably brush your teeth before going to the dentist right? Well, make sure you clean up your car before taking it to the mechanic. Pick up those fast food bags laying on the floor, and the stuff that’s collected in your backseat. It’s just a common courtesy.



Be available, but stay out of the way.



Make sure to leave your contact information, then let your mechanic do his or her job. Don’t stand around asking a bunch of questions or try to be an arm chair quarterback mechanic. That’s going to make your mechanic’s job much easier. Chances are you’ll get much better service in return.


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