car problems http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3795/all en-US 4 Ways to Find a Reputable Mechanic http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mechanic_0.jpg" alt="Mechanic with car" title="Mechanic with car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let&rsquo;s face it, if you barely know the radio from a radiator, taking your car in for maintenance and repairs can be intimidating.</p> <p>I'm lucky to have a great mechanic who has worked on my family's vehicles for nearly two decades (you're the best, Paul). But the years I spent living out of state made life a bit difficult. Put it this way &mdash; I went on the hunt for a suitable replacement for Paul long before I started thinking about finding a new primary care physician.</p> <p>But some consumers aren't so lucky. For folks on the move or simply without a trusted mechanic, finding a shop you can trust can at times prove challenging, even for those who know a thing or two about cars. Here are a few ways you can prepare for a mechanic visit and avoid wasting your money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sites-every-car-owner-needs-to-bookmark-now">6 Sites Every Car Owner Needs to Bookmark Now</a>)</p> <h3>Research the Shop</h3> <p>Just like your doctor and hair stylist, you want to trust the person working with your car. Research the shop&rsquo;s reputation by searching customer reviews. The Better Business Bureau is a good source, but also check to see if the shop and its technicians have an <a href="http://www.ase.com/About-ASE.aspx">Automotive Service Excellence</a> (ASE) certification. (Typically shops will display the blue logo and technicians will wear a patch on their uniform.) ASE certifications ensure your mechanic has been trained and tested with automotive standards.</p> <h3>Research and Know Your Car&rsquo;s Needs</h3> <p>Check out your car&rsquo;s suggested maintenance standards in the manual. <a href="http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-avoid-getting-ripped-off-by-a-mechanic">VideoJug</a> mentions filters specifically. It&rsquo;s common to replace an oil filter every oil change, but air filters can be shaken out. Other filters may go longer than what your mechanic suggests.</p> <p>Also, mechanics may say oil changes are required every 3,000 miles, but newer engines can go up to 7,500 miles. Be aware of other add-ons as well. VideoJug says most cars do not need a flush until 60,000 miles, and cars built in the past ten years do not need parts to be lubed.</p> <h3>Know Common Sales Tactics</h3> <p>Some mechanics may say your car warranty is only valid if used in a particular shop, but warranties are valid at multiple places as long as you follow the recommended maintenance and keep receipts.</p> <p><a href="http://superiorcartalk.com/help-yourself-avoid-being-ripped-off-at-the-mechanic">Superior Car Talk</a> says it&rsquo;s not uncommon for mechanics to charge for work they do not do and parts they do not replace. To avoid this, you can discretely mark parts (like a tire that&rsquo;s to be rotated) and verify the service later. You can also ask the mechanic to show you the part that was replaced, but again use a mark because some may just pull a part from a junk pile.</p> <p>Ask to see the parts that need work before agreeing to replacement. That way you can verify the treading, pad, belt, or whatever part is actually worn down.</p> <p>Bills should fall within 10% of an estimate. Do not agree to pay for an outrageous difference in price if you did not officially agree to extra services and charges.</p> <h3>Test Your Mechanic</h3> <p>Be wary of mechanics who do not allow you in the shop. You should be able to view their working environment and check on your car&rsquo;s progress. Also, pay attention to how the mechanic treats you. Are they asking questions and listening to what you have to say? Are they taking you on a test drive to experience the problem with you?</p> <p>Get multiple opinions. Take your car to two different shops, and see if the same problem gets diagnosed. Also, research the diagnosis and see typical prices for repairs and use those to compare to what your mechanic says.</p> <p>Check your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-uses-for-those-old-whitewalls">tire</a> pressure before going into the shop and ask your mechanic to top off the air. Then you can check after the service to see if they really took care of you.</p> <p>Another way to test the honesty of a potential mechanic is to, well, be dishonest. Some consumer advocates suggest taking your car in when nothing is wrong. If the mechanic comes back with a bunch of problems, you know it's time to look elsewhere.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever">Do These 5 Car Maintenance Tasks and Keep Your Car on the Road Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers">Ask the Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">Maximize Your Car&#039;s Efficiency With &#039;Hypermiling&#039;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation avoid rip off car problems mechanic Tue, 12 Jul 2011 09:36:39 +0000 Chris Birk 615750 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/broken_car.jpg" alt="broken car" title="so sad ;(" width="360" height="214" /> </p> <p>Usually, I have a lot to write about. But today? Today there&#39;s only one thing I can write about, because this thing is driving me crazy. </p> <p>Dave and I are responsible with our cars. We take good care of them, do all of the maintenance they need, etc. One of our cars, though, is having problems. Now, I know that car problems happen no matter what you do. I know that pieces of the car get older and need to be replaced. However, we spent over $700 on this car last week and it&#39;s still not working. Today, we took it to a different mechanic (recommended by a friend) who tried some things but couldn&#39;t get it to work right. He recommended us to a Honda specialist, who will look at the car on Thursday.</p> <p>At this point, I&#39;m worried. If the easy things don&#39;t fix it, it&#39;s probably going to cost a lot to fix it. What if they can&#39;t find the problem? What if we bought a car that&#39;s a lemon? </p> <p>All of this got me to wondering: what are the best ways to save money on car repairs (short of &quot;knowing people&quot; or doing it yourself)? Does anyone have anything in particular that they would recommend Dave and I do or say to avoid spending all of our tax return on the car? I would really appreciate any input and I think other readers would, too! (I&#39;ve already thought of showing up with puppy-dog eyes, a couple of tears trailing down my face, wearing a string bikini, so that one&#39;s taken!) </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic">4 Ways to Find a Reputable Mechanic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">Think you can afford more house in the exurbs? Think again.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-websites-you-must-visit-when-buying-a-new-car">7 Websites You Must Visit When Buying a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bank-of-gasoline-0">The Bank of Gasoline</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation buy a new car car car problems car repair string bikini Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:25:17 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 487 at http://www.wisebread.com