Car owners are wary of repair shops and understandably, complaints abound. Owners of the sophisticated cars with computerized systems often complain that mechanics in garages have no clue about how their car’s systems work. Overbilling is a common complaint. Use of spurious or substandard spares is another. Shoddy work is another complaint. Incomplete work or faulty work complaints are common. In order to understand why this happens one must understand how auto mechanics work and how garages work. A consumer report survey dating back to 2012 found that 25% of clients are dissatisfied with the quality of repairs.
How garages work
Service garages are out there to make the profit. Service is a secondary consideration for them. Garages may employ highly qualified car mechanics to handle the advanced car systems and plain mechanics for routine work. They may charge by the hour and for spares replaced. An honest and straightforward, mechanic will diagnose a fault and repair it using genuine components. However, that does not give them much profit. A customer must be milked for all he is worth is the common philosophy of most garages. Use of substandard parts is a common practice. Another practice is to charge even for repairs and replacements actually not carried out. They have overheads and investments in equipment to recover. If people are wary about garages, it is understandable.
How mechanics work
This is interesting. Mechanics are supposed to be paid a fair wage but garage owners find loopholes to pay the least and extract maximum work. Mechanics of cars are supposedly paid by the hour but they will be offered a fixed number of hours and will be paid accordingly even if they spent more time. It happens because a mechanic then rush through the job that in turn affects the quality of the work. Mechanics are paid only when they are assigned work. If there is no work, they may remain idle. Customers bargain for discounts and garage owners usually offer a discount on labor that means a mechanic gets less pay. Mechanics, in some areas, are eligible for higher pay provided they bring their own tools, but a garage owner wriggles out of it by claiming he provided some tools. The sum of it all is that auto mechanics are a disgruntled lot and they have no incentive to be meticulous when it comes to handling repairs and delivering highest levels of satisfaction to the customers. Garages, it would seem, more often exploit car mechanics, even if they are expert and well qualified, rather than consider them as assets to be nurtured.
In this backdrop, how would a car owner be sure of picking the right garage with the right mechanics and avoid being ripped off?
One of the biggest sources of impartial opinions is the internet. If a garage is well known and earned positive reviews then, one can trust them to be scrupulous.
Approach and attitude
Drive in to a garage and evaluate their approach. If a knowledgeable service provider discusses your issues and you are put in touch with an expert mechanic who will handle your car, you are on the right track. Your car should receive a checkup and you should get a fair quote on the repairs that need to be done with no inflation in labor or part costs. If they offer a guarantee on parts and work, you know you can trust them.
Understanding how mechanics work and garages operate will help you avoid being ripped off when it is time for your car to receive maintenance or repairs.