No one is happy to receive a hefty bill from a mechanic. The next time a repair cost makes your jaw drop, remember these four things to immediately feel better about your investment.
- Are you really mad at the mechanic?
If you're upset about a repair cost, don’t automatically blame the mechanic. This is out of their control. You might as well blame your doctor for medical bills, because he or she diagnosed the problem.
No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but it has to be done. Never assume a high cost means you're getting ripped off. Complex jobs require expensive parts and long hours. Clarify the repair cost before work begins. If you feel unsure, get a second opinion or ask the mechanic to show you the problem.
- Could you prevent situations like this?
Cars don't overheat for no good reason. The most common cause is leaking, but it could also be due to low coolant or antifreeze. In that case, ask the mechanic to show you where that fluid is located so you can check it at the beginning or end of every month. Smart move! Now you’re empowered to identify problems before you breakdown and get stranded.
- Did you blatantly ignore warning signs?
If you put off an urgent repair, you will pay for it later. Your “check engine” light doesn't usually blink without cause. It means your car needs attention NOW (not “sometime next week” or “whenever is convenient”).
Imagine you have a child who comes home, complaining about a sick or painful feeling. Would you tell them to suck it up? No! You would take them to the doctor right away. The mechanic is your car's doctor and the “check engine” light is its way of telling you something is wrong. Act fast.
Mechanic Advisor now offers a telematics device that tells you what your check engine light means, and also immediately informs your connected mechanic so that they can offer help as soon as the problem hits.
- How much do you have saved for emergencies?
If you don't put money in your car jar every night, then you're begging for trouble.
I encourage my auto business customers to empty their pockets of change and put it in a jar every night. It won’t feel like much at first, but it adds up over time.
Car repair is not a want. It is a need like food and shelter. Strapped for cash? I’m not a finance expert, but I can tell you that it helps to separate your savings and spending money.
Open a savings account that is hard to access (no debit cards!) and transfer a set amount there every time you get paid. If you're not tech savvy, that's okay. Call your financial institution and ask for help.
Don’t blame your mechanic the next time you get stuck with a big, nasty repair bill. You are the only person with the power to improve the condition of your vehicle. If you want to learn how, click here.
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Audra Fordin is the founder of Women Auto Know (WAK). She wants to connect drivers with mechanics who are willing to earn their trust. Check out more action-packed blogs plus a free trusted auto shop directory at www.WomenAutoKnow.com.