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How to Talk to Your Mechanic

Sep 4, 2008
Unexplainable noises or vibrations in your vehicle, mysterious odors, leaking fluids of unknown origins-any of these is a good reason for you to take your automobile to a mechanic. Yet many people delay bringing their vehicles to the mechanic for presumably insignificant issues such as these. A great number of people prefer to avoid going to any mechanic whenever possible, for a variety of reasons.

Some people feel as if mechanics act condescendingly toward people who don't know much about vehicles. A great number of people think that mechanics never listen to women, and that they will take advantage of the situation-charging more or 'diagnosing' more problems-if a woman brings in a vehicle for repairs.
The bottom line is this-many people are worried about taking their vehicles to the mechanic because they do not know how to talk to their mechanic. They do not know how to properly get their concerns across-and, they are fearful of being cheated.

Because any issues with a motor vehicle may be significant-even seemingly lesser problems like small dinging sounds and slight dripping leaks-here are some tips on how to talk with a mechanic. Most mechanics will be honest and trustworthy; however, since there are some who may not be on the up-and-up, follow these guidelines to make sure you get your vehicle taken care of properly.

First of all, remember to be respectful. Although mechanics may be covered in grease and oil, they are skilled professionals-not grease monkeys who should be compared with neighborhood guys who work on their cars on the weekends. Mechanics have gone to school and studied about vehicle repair-treat them as you would any other expert.

Describe the problem completely, in detailed description. Let the mechanic know exactly when you hear the noise or how many times the car has failed to start, for example. The more precise you can be, the better the mechanic can do his job. Being thorough with your depiction of the issue will help the mechanic to diagnose the problem correctly-saving him time, and saving you money.

Don't offer a diagnosis of any kind-this is the mechanic's job. While you may want to make a suggestion, this is a bad idea because it could put you on the spot for paying for repairs that the mechanic makes at your suggestion, whether or not they fix the actual problem.

If you do not understand a charge on your bill or why a certain procedure was done, don't accuse the mechanic of overcharging. Instead, ask questions-politely. Ask the mechanic to explain the bill and to explain each of the procedures to you. Have him show you where on your vehicle the procedures were done so that you can have visual evidence of each charge on the bill. Most mechanics are willing to do this; if a mechanic is not willing to explain the bill or show you the new car parts, this is when you may think you have probably been overcharged.

Follow these tips, and you don't have to be worried about talking with your mechanic any more. Mechanics, or technicians as many are referred to, are simple human beings, just like you and I are. They have a common goal with you, a safe and reliable vehicle.
About the Author
If you are looking for honest advice, prioritized repairs, options on repairs, maximized fuel economy, and a good feeling with who you are doing business with go to www.westsideautopros.com
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