Mechanics can offer a wide range of services or they can specialize in one area, ie transmission. In some cases where you don’t know what’s wrong with the car, you need to take it to a general mechanic to diagnose the problem. Then you would have to choose whether to have the problem fixed with the general mechanic or take it to a specialist if necessary.
Here are some common preventative maintenance that most cars require:
- Oil, lube and filter
- Air Conditioning
Preventative Maintenance vs Repairs
Preventative Maintenance ServiceRegular preventative maintenance is necessary for the safety, reliability, comfort and longevity of vehicles. Throughout the life of the car, there are a number of parts that would need to be replaced to avoid damage to the car or for safety reasons. Some preventative maintenance services include: oil, lube & filter changes, replacing belts, tire rotations and replacing fluids.
Repair ServiceRepair service is different from preventative maintenance as it occurs when something in or on the vehicle breaks. Some repairs can be avoided entirely or may not be as damaging as they could have been if preventative maintenance is regularly performed. Some common car repairs include: transmission, suspension, engine, and air conditioning.
Considerations when choosing a mechanic
It can be overwhelming to have to choose a mechanic when your car breaks down or needs maintenance work. How do you know which mechanic to choose? Which ones are reliable and will do quality work on your car? Many people find themselves in this situation at some point. Here are some suggestions as to how to find a good mechanic:
- Ask co-workers, friends and family for names of mechanics that they have found to provide quality workmanship.
- Online Research
- Go online and read reviews and ratings by other people and check the Better Business Bureau for complaints etc.
- Automotive Clubs
- Check out automotive clubs, such as AAA as they will often recommend club approved and reputable mechanics.
Should I take my vehicle to a dealership or independent mechanic for service?
- Controversy over dealership versus independent repair centers has been evident for many years. Some people feel more comfortable taking their vehicle to a dealership, perhaps where they purchased the vehicle. They may feel that those mechanics know their cars better than an independent mechanic and will do a better job. However there is often a premium that goes along with this peace of mind – higher prices. On average, dealerships charge more than independent mechanic on services.
Here are some points to consider:
- Dealerships may know more about your vehicle than independent mechanics as they work on the same models of cars regularly. Independent mechanics may not work on enough cars of that brand and model so it may take them more time to diagnose the problem.
- At a dealership you often speak to a greeter or someone other than the mechanic who is actually going to be working on your car. With an independent mechanic, the mechanic often will be the one speaking directly to you. You can explain the problem, noises etc directly to the mechanic instead of having your concerns taken down by an greeter/advisor who then relays your feedback to the mechanic.
- At a dealership, the repair time may be faster as they might have parts needed in-store or can get them shipped within a day. At an independent mechanic, they might have to wait a few days for the parts to arrive.
- One solution to this may be to do regular preventative maintenance at independent mechanics and then have repairs performed at the dealership where they specialize in your brand of car. Of course if your vehicle is still under warranty, then the dealership is the way to go.
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