4 ways to avoid surprises on your auto repair estimate

September 19, 2014

Finding reliable mechanics for car repairs is easier with a little research. Here's how to estimate your auto repair costs before you go into the shop.

  1. Do Internet research using trusted car repair sites: There are many websites out there that specialize in providing car repair estimates, that allow you to enter your vehicle’s make and model to find national average repair estimates. It’s important to use a trusted source so you’re not presented with false, misleading information. If you do some basic research beforehand, you’ll have a better idea of how fair a mechanic’s estimate actually is.
  2. Get an online repair estimate so you can compare costs:Don’t go into your auto repair shop blindly. Getting an online repair estimate allows you to determine how much of a mark-up your mechanic is actually making off your repair’s parts and labour costs. This kind of information should make you feel less wary about trusting your mechanic in the future.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use any personal connections you may have:Maybe you’re friends with or related to someone who is knowledgeable about auto repairs. Ask them to listen to your car so you have a better idea of what may be wrong with it when you take it into the shop. Perhaps they can also recommend a mechanic they trust to make your search for one even easier. It’s never a bad thing to be “in the loop” with your mechanic.
  4. Get an estimate from your mechanic prior to the work:If it’s a decent auto repair shop, they should tell you what kind of repair is necessary and about how much the repair will be up-front. If they don’t offer you an estimate, keep searching for a mechanic. Some good mechanics may even let you buy and bring in your own auto parts to help further curb your repair costs once you’ve established a relationship with them.

Auto repair estimates make more sense once you’ve done your basic consumer homework. You’ll also find much of that initial panic you felt when you first saw your check engine light go on will fade away as you learn more. That’s something to give you peace of mind.

4 ways to avoid surprises on your auto repair estimate
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