Auto Repair and Questions for you and your Mechanic

By: Drew Turnbaugh

When sweaters come out and the thermometers looking grim it's time for auto repair Chicago! But with scams almost as plentiful as shops, how will you know you're not really getting iced? We asked our users to throw some IanAuto style repair advice:

Auto Repair Chicago Tip #1: Ask Yourself: Does your mechanic explain everything in language YOU understand?

Randy from Arlington Heights says he won't authorize any work until he has a complete understanding of what's in store: "I didn't know much about my car, and I used to think I was asking stupid questions. But I realized that I'm spending my money, and it's their job to inform me! No question is ever stupid. In fact, if I can't get a straight answer, I'll just take my car elsewhere."

Auto Repair Chicago Tip #2: Ask Yourself: How Are You Being Treated?

"When a mechanic talks down to me, or treats me poorly, or won't give me information and estimates, I just move along," says Jen from Oak Park. "Back in the day I would politely ask for my keys and go elsewhere. Now that I'm a bit wiser, I make most of my decisions online."

Auto Repair Chicago Tip #3: Ask Your Mechanic: Are There Lower Cost Alternatives To High Dollar Repair?

Imagine being slapped with a $1200 repair bill when you're still making payments on your car. Think it sounds far fetched? Not at all. Rachel from Glenview found herself in that exact situation. "I still was making payments on this thing, and it wasn't until I compared notes from a few places that I found a seasonal fix to my problem. I went back in and turned an almost $1200 job into a $180 job."

Auto Repair Chicago Tip #4: Ask Your Mechanic: What Is The Top Priority?

Scott from Addison discovered how to space it out: "The work I needed had a price tag about $350 more than my car was even worth. But I didn't have enough spending cash to just go out and grab a replacement. I hit a few shops online and found one that would work with me by focusing on the major issue and then scheduling multiple, less costly follow ups."

Auto Repair Chicago Tip #5: Ask Your Mechanic: For A Ballpark Figure And Relevant Information

"There's nothing wrong with asking for a general estimate over the phone or online," says Carla of Chicago. "Yes, I understand they need to look at my car to be sure, but if the person can't give me reasonable information and/or a ballpark price, it makes me think he's not qualified. And if he starts doing that 'bring it in and we'll take a look' dance, I just head elsewhere."

Always remember: in almost every instance, clear communication and education are the #1 ways for you to avoid being scammed by unscrupulous repair shops. When in doubt, always ask questions. And with the availability of online tools, you should compare quotes and notes on local service professionals before you find yourself living an auto repair nightmare.

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