What to Ask Your Mechanic at Your Next Tune-Up
by Brett Byrne on Mar 26, 2018
Most people don’t ask their mechanics many questions when they go in for servicing, assuming their mechanic will assess and repair everything that needs to be fixed. However, it is important to ask a few questions during routine repairs. Your questions will not only help you learn more about your car but can help a mechanic understand your needs as a customer.
How Much Do You Charge for a Diagnosis?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask a mechanic. Understanding your mechanic's diagnostics rates, among the rates of others, can save you a large sum of money. Mechanics charge varying rates, across a wide range, based on the circumstances of their shops, types of vehicles, and costs for certain parts. By asking for the diagnostic fee, you can then shop around and do research to see if there are other mechanics that can offer you the same services at a cheaper price. You can also find services like waxing, painting, detailing and oil maintenance at individual service stations. After shopping around, if you would prefer to remain with your mechanic, you can use this as negotiating tool for a decreased service fee.
Can I Have a Written Estimate?
Estimates are a great way to know what you are getting into when you want your vehicle repaired. It is never a good idea to have a repair done without comparing estimates among different mechanics. With labor and parts, mechanics usually charge different prices for their services. The reason you should specify a written estimate is that many mechanics can switch prices once they realize the work a repair job will take. You want to ensure the price you were told is the price you pay for the service.
Is There a Warranty or Recall Available?
This question can save you a lot of money, depending on what part you need. When a manufacturer issues a recall, they fix whatever issue the car has for free and you do not have to pay for labor or the part. However, when a recall is issued, you will have to bring your car to an authorized dealer of the manufacturer. With a part that is covered by warranty, you may not need to bring the car to an authorized dealer.
These questions are a great way to assure yourself you are getting a good service for a good price. Additionally, by asking these questions, you provide yourself with a way to negotiate for better pricing among the mechanics in your area.