3 Things You Didn’t Know About Getting Your Car Serviced

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Auto repair options, Car care services, Choosing the right auto repair shop

Brake repair durham nc

For about a year I was going to the same mechanics for my oil changes, tire alignments and other car care services. It was a local ‘mom and pop’ shop run by the sweetest couple and their German Shepherd dog. I had a couple of brake services done, nothing major, just brake pad replacements and random brake checks. I went through a period of time where I just didn’t get my car serviced because I didn’t want to go anywhere else but my mom and pop shop was really far from my new house. I kept meaning to go but never did. My brakes were making funny noises so I had them checked at a place nearby and they said they’d probably need replacing soon. Then a few days later, I was driving down the road when my back brakes went out. Literally, just stopped working. When I called my mechanics, I got the sad ‘no connection’ tone that meant that they had gone out of business. I had no idea where to get the brake service and I began quite a journey trying to find somewhere. Here is what I found out:

Mechanics have trigger words to make more money.
There are some sketchy mechanics out there. Not all, mind you, but quite a few. If you are going in for a simple oil change and they tell you that your transmission fluid needs to be flushed because it smells funky, the salesperson might just be trying to up sell you and make more money off of you. If you are already paying an arm and a leg for a brake service and the salesperson tells you that your tires are not fit to be driven off, make sure you get a second opinion before offering up your other limbs. There are certain things that mechanics say when they are trying to up sell. ‘Smells funny,’ ‘not safe’ and ‘it’s this color but it should be that color’ are all examples of made up problems.

There are laws regarding vehicle safety.
The first place I went to get my brakes checked, before they went out, told me that it wasn’t a good idea to drive the car for much longer without getting the brakes done. When I finally found someone I trusted to look at the car after the brakes actually stopped working, he told me that the first car repair shop should never have even put the wheels back on. Apparently, there are laws regarding vehicle safety and when a vehicle is deemed a danger to the driver, passengers or other cars, the mechanic shop has to refuse to allow the car to be driven off the lot. Granted, had the first shop told me that, I probably would have flipped a lid, but in any case, they broke the law by allowing me and my children to drive away in the vehicle that day. So, if they ever say that to you, check the car yourself before getting upset.

There are drive through car service shop.
It’s true. There are actually shops that will work on your car without you even having to get out. If you have children or are disabled or just don’t like waiting in the uncomfortable waiting room of a car repair shop, this is great. The way it works is if you are getting an oil change or brake service, or whatever the case may be, the car is parked over a basement. The mechanics go down into the basement under your car in order to work on it without having to lift the car or ask you to leave the vehicle. However, this makes it more difficult for you to see what the mechanic is doing as opposed to watching through the windows of the waiting area like normal.

So, what to do? Know your stuff. Do your own research before you go and get your car seen to so that you can recognize the things they are telling you. You’ll be much better off and will likely even save money. You don’t have to know everything about cars, but a general knowledge of your situation and your car’s condition will go a long way.

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