30 Things Your Car Mechanic Won’t Tell You
Real mechanics give you the inside scoop on the tricks of the trade.
What would ever make you think a muffler will last a lifetime? Yes, they’ll give you free replacements, but they’ll hit you over the head for expensive pipe repairs.
Consult your dealer…
…before you have work done on a catalytic converter or emissions parts. Some of these items carry a very long warranty, and free replacement is often required by law. Here are some car-buying secrets your dealer won’t tell you.
Light on your dash
It’s not OK for your “check engine” light to stay on all the time. It’s probably not “a loose gas cap.” You should know about the scary reason never to put your feet on the car dashboard.
Don’t be duped by double labor
If a car mechanic offers to change your timing belt and water pump, question how long the job will take. Some will charge you double labor even though the second task is essentially done once the belt is removed.
Always ask for your old parts back
This way you’ll know they’ve been changed, and you or a friend can tell if they’re worn. Watch out for these things you should never, ever do to your car.
Be careful with “road hazard” warranties on tires. The shops may give you a free tire here and there, but eventually, they will soak you with unnecessary alignments or suspension replacements.
All brakes are not created equal
Ask for estimates on brake jobs. Many mechanics will use very cheap parts and mark them up. Good mechanics who understand cars will never skimp in this area.
Have your car test-driven. A good test-drive is just as important as a regular service—it might mean the difference between simply needing brake pads and having a complete rotor replacement. Make sure you know about these reasons you could get pulled over that have nothing to do with speeding.
Find expert mechanics
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Good mechanics, like good customers, are hard to find—communication is key. A good car mechanic will explain repair phases and give you choices.
Be wary of certified pre-owned cars
Usually in this business, the only thing that’s certified is that someone owned the car before you. Very little ever gets done on these types of cars. Here are some things you should know if you’re considering buying a car online.