How to Dispute Your Mechanic Bill

Repairs are one of the costs that come with car ownership, but it sure is confusing when you don’t speak the lingo. How do you make sure you’re being billed fairly? Here’s some advice for those who aren’t so mechanically inclined.

Plus: Traffic Violations and Your Auto Insurance

Check to see if your car is under warranty.

If it is, you’ll need to take it to the dealer or an authorized repair facility.

Find a good auto shop.

Ask coworkers, friends, and neighbors where they take their vehicles for repairs. Is the shop affiliated with AAA or does it have technicians certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)? Do you like the look of the place (clean, organized, etc.)?

Ask for a written estimate before the work starts.
It’s not uncommon for the actual bill to be 10-20% higher, or more if the mechanic finds that the problem is more complicated.

Plus: Save on Gas with Auto Maintenance

Ask for the mechanic to review your bill with you.
It might seem tedious, but it can save you money. Mistakes happen all of the time. Compare the charges with your estimate.

If you have a bad feeling about the work performed, dispute your bill carefully.
If you can’t find a resolution, ask for the old parts (should you need evidence) and take your dispute, in writing, through the chain of command. If necessary, you might turn to the Better Business Bureau or, as a last resort, legal action.

Plus: How to Cut Your Cable Bill


Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.