Unless you drive a brand new car or have an extended warranty, you’re going to need a good mechanic to take care of your car. Most of the mechanics are professional in their dealing and expert in their job. However, there are certain things they won’t share with you.
This is why you must be careful about and keep in mind when taking your car for service or routine maintenance.
Let’s have a look at the most common things that your mechanic won’t tell you. In addition, how to keep an eye on everything very smartly, to avoid extra expenditure or wastage of time.
You can change the engine oil yourself
Anybody who has ever driven a car or knows a little about automobiles is aware of what engine oil is. Most driver not sure how often it should be replaced. It’s one of the easiest jobs an auto mechanic can do. It is as simple as opening a tap. It is also one of the easiest ways of making money for the workshop.
You won’t hear a mechanic telling you during service “Hey! Why don’t you just do it at home? It’s nothing difficult and takes just a few minutes”. That’s because it’s their bread and butter. Changing engine oil or filter on a car is the easiest way for them to make quick money.
Apart from the labor and service charges, mechanics also keep a profit margin on the products they sell and earn some bucks.
On average, getting oil change from a workshop costs RM120, including labor charges. While you could do it free of cost at home, you would just have to buy the engine oil yourself and that’s it.
You don’t need to change the oil every 3,000 miles
This so-called thumb rule of changing the engine oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months has no expert backing. It has only been normalized by the manufacturers and workshops to make money. While getting your car serviced, you would never hear a mechanic saying, “The oil is good to go another 2,000 miles, let’s do it on the next schedule”. That’s because either he wants to make quick money or is unaware of the facts.
The new fully synthetic oils available in the market can even drive up to 15,000 miles. It won’t cause any problem and needs replacement only due to viscosity changes. So, be sensible about your engine oil change intervals and don’t waste money by choosing the best quality oils.
Brake service is easy
Just like an engine oil change, changing the brake pads, rotors and servicing are like a jackpot for the mechanics. They would never tell you how easy it is to do a brake job and it can be done by non-experts too. Getting your brake pads changed and calipers serviced can cost more than $200 on average, whereas you can do it yourself DIY in less than half of that.
Bear in mind that it can be a daunting task, which can consume a lot of your time and effort, especially if you don’t have a hydraulic lift machine.
Get a new car, its best for you
A brand new car will help you drive trouble-free for years and enjoy a hassle-free ownership experience. Even if something goes wrong, the dealership will look after your car under the warranty terms. A new car has the latest technology and upgraded features, a joy to own and pleasure to drive.
While everybody is happy with the new purchase, your mechanic might be frowning at this decision of yours. Obviously, it’s a way to make money for them via labor and products sale. But for some mechanics, it is also a matter of pride to take care of a used car and keep it in pristine condition on the road.
Sure, you can show your car to someone else
Most of the mechanics are specialists of one or two jobs. The majority of workshops are run by a team of technicians who maintain the vehicles. Only a gutsy mechanic would be graceful enough to admit that he’s not the expert at everything. If they are unable to look after your car, and you should take it to someone else for a second opinion.
Most of the mechanics are jack of all “repairs” and try to diagnose and solve every problem themselves. Be straight with your mechanic and upfront about how your car should be handled, keeping in mind the respect factor.
I’ve never worked on this particular car
Some mechanics won’t let a car go untouched and work on anything that drives into the workshop. With the quickly changing technology in the automotive sector and cars getting the latest tech and components too often, a mechanic can’t possibly have worked on just about every car.
So, if you have a new car or a model that is not common in the area, do not believe your mechanic if he tells you that he grew up with the same car in his backyard. Thoroughly search for an authorized dealership or find an expert technician before handing over your car.
It’s going to charge you double
One of the most infuriating things to happen at a workshop is the final bill. Often you see charges for the job you were not told in the first place or are overcharged for a service. Although, a professional mechanic would call you for approval before doing a job not discussed in the first place. Most of the time, mechanics perform a repair or a replacement without informing and charge a hefty price.
Bonus: DIY your maintenance using friction modifier
Your mechanic has variety of oils and additives in their workshops. Most of the time, they won’t tell you what are the brands. It can be premium grade of economy grade.
So be careful and discuss everything before handing over your car for the job. Leave your phone number at the main desk. Tell them to call, no matter how small the repair or replacement may be.
Image credit: Endurance Warranty