9 Legal Tips for Dealing with a Mechanic

Consumer Finance - September 4, 2017
Auto mechanic working on vehicle & looking at data on handheld device

Taking your vehicle to a mechanic can be stressful and expensive. These tips are designed to help you avoid complicated legal matters involving vehicle repair. If you are involved in a dispute with a mechanic or have questions about a vehicle warranty call your LegalShield provider law firm today.

1. Find the right mechanic – Lawsuits between a customer and mechanic are time consuming and expensive. A trustworthy mechanic, who is familiar with your type of vehicle, is as good as gold. Talk to friends, family and coworkers about where they take their vehicles. You should also check the Better Business Bureau or online reviews.

2. Get a written estimate – The estimate should show separate costs for parts and labor. Make sure the shop understands they may not begin work without your approval.

3. Compare prices – Pricing for most auto parts can be found online. For particularly expensive repairs get a second opinion from another shop. While cheaper isn’t always better, vastly different estimates may be a warning sign.

4. Other warning signs – Some shops use threats to convince customers to purchase additional services they don’t need. Beware of ominous threats in connection with a long list of needed repairs. Also, watch out for trial-and-error repairs. If a mechanic needs to try several things to fix an issue it’s possible they do not understand the problem. These are instances when you should seek a second opinion.

5. Ask questions and do your homework – If you do not understand what is wrong with your vehicle and the mechanic can’t explain the problem to you in a way that makes sense, find another mechanic.

6. Test drive – For particularly expensive or complicated repairs, you may consider asking to test drive the vehicle with a mechanic. This will help ensure the problem is fixed before you pay and drive home.

7. Inspections – State inspection laws vary, but a shop cannot hold your vehicle hostage for inspection-related repairs. In most instances, you are allowed time to repair a failed vehicle yourself or take it to another shop. If you need help understanding the laws where you live, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

8. Vehicle warranty – An auto warranty is only as good as its terms. Understand what the warranty covers and does not cover and what regular service you are responsible for covering. If you violate even a small provision of your obligations under the warranty, you may inadvertently void the warranty.

9. Mechanic’s lien – In many instances a mechanic can legally hold your vehicle if you are unable to pay for completed repairs. These laws do vary in different states and provinces. If you have a dispute with a mechanic over charges, contact your LegalShield provider law firm for details on the laws where you live.