Why is it that we all assume our mechanics are going to steal our money? Is every person that enters the profession naturally suspicious? Or can we take an honest look back at ourselves and admit that perhaps the uneasiness comes from being less familiar with how a car works than other things?
As women, we deal with generalizations all the time. In fact, when you arrive at the body shop, the staff might automatically assume that you know nothing about cars. Help combat both stereotypes. In addition to doing some basic research on your car to make you more knowledgeable (and therefore, more comfortable), use these tips the next time you visit the garage:
- Never admit you know nothing about your car.
- Always insist the mechanic calls you before they fix anything.
- After they give you a price, ask them if they can do better.
- When they tell you the specific problem, tell them you’ll be right over to see it, and actually go!
- Insist they save all the parts they have replaced and ask them to save them for you.
- Have them show you the new parts on the vehicle.
- Ask them to explain exactly how the parts work.
- Don’t allow them to speak down to you. Force them to treat you as an equal.
- Find out if there are any warranties left on any new parts they have replaced and have them write that down on your receipt.
- Make a file for all your car receipts. It’s invaluable for keeping track of maintenance and minor repairs, which may come in handy if you want to sell your car.
- Follow your gut. If you think they’re pulling a fast one on you, go to another mechanic for a second opinion.