Did You Get an Estimate for Auto Repairs?
Whenever your vehicle has to undergo auto repairs, its best to always get a written estimate before any work is started. Learn about the importance of having written documentation which may also come in handy at a later time.
“Written estimates required: Most states require mechanics to give you a written estimate. Insist on it. In most states, once the shop gives you a written estimate, it’s required to contact you if that estimate is going to rise more than 10 percent. If your state doesn’t require shops to ask your permission before doing additional work, take the law into your own hands — with a pen. Write on the service ticket either “not to exceed X dollars” or “mechanic must contact customer if price is going to rise more than 10 percent.”
Get a Second Opinion: Once you find a trustworthy mechanic, stick with them — with one exception: If your mechanic tells you you need a repair that’s so expensive it’s a financial hardship for you, seek a second opinion. Mechanics, like doctors, can diagnose more than one problem from the same set of symptoms. Getting a second opinion is simply a check-up, a cross reference, before you spend a pile of money. If the second opinion confirms the first, you can return to the original shop to get the work done.
Know the labor rate: Most states require shops to post their hourly labor rates and are required to charge each customer that same rate. From there, they usually consult a computer program called a “labor table” that tells them how many hours a particular job should take. Your estimate will likely be based on book time, though the shop’s actual time doing the work could vary. But there are three major labor tables. And sometimes they cite different times! So if your labor estimate seems high, ask the shop if it has access to another labor table that may be lower. I find this confusing. Labor rates can be negotiable.” To read the entire article click here.