Cars are complicated machines. Sure, when things are running smoothly, this complexity is appreciated. However, when things start a-knocking and clicking and clacking, this complexity is to be dreaded. No longer can most of us fix our own cars; they are just too complex for that.
This means that when we are at the garage, we are at the mercy of the mechanic and his or her knowledge, insight and expertise. Unfortunately, this can lead us to okaying repairs and services we just do not need. Pam Oakes, owner of a garage in Ft. Myers, Fl., says customers frequently get the wrong end of the deal when interacting with mechanics.
Talking about a customer who came to her repair shop with a list of needed repairs from another shop totaling more than $1,000, Oakes said her mechanic checked the car and the list and found that “none of it was necessary. The only thing she needed was new windshield wipers, and they missed that.”
Oakes says that drivers need to be wary of mechanics that suggest flushing out transmission or steering fluids, or radiator coolant. With today’s cars, this is no longer needed. Also, people should not go for ultra-cheap oil changes. And, Oakes says that the best advice is to find a quality, trusted mechanic and stick with him or her.