Many people fear the mechanic, not for what they want us to know but for what they don’t. That is because some mechanics lie and charge more for fixes than necessary. It’s easier for them to do this since not everyone is as well-trained in the inner workings of a car. But not every mechanic is that way. In fact, there are some things mechanics want you to know. Those mechanics are the good ones, the ones who don’t lie to get an extra buck.
There are some things mechanics want you to know that will help both you and them during any visit or even before the visit.
A good mechanic will want you to shop around. This is because of that generalization about mechanics. Not every mechanic is shady, some actually want to work for their money. Those mechanics want you to know that they are not cheating you in the price. The only way to know you aren’t getting cheated is to shop around for the best deal. But there is something they also want you to know about the price of parts and work.
Parts Cost Money
You know one very important thing if you’ve used any piece of technology. That thing is that you get what you pay for. You will most likely get a phone that doesn’t last long or breaks very easily if you choose the cheapest phone available. The same thing goes for some parts of your car.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal on a good part. Just like you could get one of the best phones on the market for a good price. You could also get the best parts for a good deal as well. One of the things mechanics want you to know is that good parts cost money. The cheapest option will get the job done but you may need to replace it sooner than if you spent the extra money on a better part.
Diagnostics Aren’t Everything
You may see a mechanic hook up a computer or handheld to your car. This is a diagnostics system that helps determine the problem with your vehicle. However, it doesn’t tell them everything. Instead, a diagnostics tool is used to help lead the mechanic to the problem. There is no diagnostics tool that says, “This is the part that needs to be changed,” at least not yet.
There is still work that goes into even just diagnosing the problem and that time could be costly. That is one of the things mechanics want you to know, diagnostics aren’t everything. But to protect yourself, make sure you are aware of how much they charge for time so you can be prepared for the final cost when it arrives.
Parts Cost Money
Seems like we already went over this, but not exactly. The best parts come with high price tags but there is more you should know. An auto shop, no matter what they specialize in, is a for-profit business. Let’s say you knew exactly what part needed to be changed and you shopped for it on Amazon. The Amazon price is $5 for this particular part but the mechanic is asking for $8 for that part.
Remember that the mechanic has to buy that part and needs to make a profit on the money spent. Yes, they may get it for cheaper if they buy in bulk or get a mechanic’s discount. But that doesn’t mean they will give it to you for the price they paid. You may see a slightly higher price for that part compared to where you found it but what you buy a bargain steak at a grocery store and ask a chef at a restaurant to cook it for you? Most likely the answer is no.
This price conversation about parts is one thing but what about service costs? Say a mechanic charges $100/hour and another offers $50/hour. You may choose to go with the $50/hour mechanic because the number is easier to swallow. But consider this, that mechanic might not have the experience of the more expensive one.
That second mechanic will take three hours to do one job and then the price is $150 for service. But the first mechanic only takes an hour and the end price will be $100. Experience matters and there is a way to protect yourself. Do your research before going to a mechanic. Check reviews and ask about certifications. These are ways you can keep yourself from making the wrong choice.